Church holds fundraiser for pastor’s son

Published 9:12 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Suffolk church hopes to raise more than $20,000 with a barbecue dinner sale next week to benefit its pastor’s son.

Suffolk Christian Church will hold the fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Jan. 6 at the church, 216 N. Main St.

The proceeds will benefit the family of Jeff Halley, the son of Suffolk Christian’s pastor, the Rev. Michael Halley, and his wife, Carmen Halley.

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Jeff Halley, who lives in Gainesville, Fla., was diagnosed in July with stage IV stomach cancer, which was deemed inoperable. Doctors are treating the disease with chemotherapy.

Due to side effects of the treatment, Halley has been unable to work at his job at a bank since he fell ill. He also worked in the music ministry at his church and has been unable to continue that.

Halley said he is grateful for the support from Suffolk Christian. He has visited the church and met people there but never expected the response from them.

“They’re great people, and I’m finding increasingly they’re incredibly generous,” Halley said.

He said he has received many cards from people at the church, as well as financial support.

“It’s heartwarming and encouraging,” he said. “We’re very grateful. My Christian faith is really important to me, and it’s helping me to get through.”

Halley and his wife, Tammy, have a 12-year-old daughter, Sarah.

Halley said he is grateful a church several states away is willing to help him out simply because of the love the church has for his parents.

“The response of all my friends and former co-workers, and my church here and Suffolk Christian has been amazing,” he said. “They’ve inspired us.”

Likewise, church members say Halley’s faith has inspired them.

“His faith is amazing,” said Beverly McGahee. “He’s always upbeat; he’s always positive and thankful. He has a lot of hope. He’s been an amazing inspiration the way he has handled this illness.”

McGahee said the funds will be used specifically to help the family maintain its health insurance.

Evelyn Jones, the chair of the benefit, said Halley’s illness hit close to home.

“We just feel, because it’s our minister’s son, it’s very close to us,” she said.

Fundraiser plates will be available on Jan. 6 for a $10 donation each. Plates include barbecue, cole slaw, candied yams and hushpuppies. The meal may be taken out or eaten in. Free delivery is available for five or more meals if purchased by Jan. 4. A bake sale will also be held on site. Love offerings outside of the meal donation will also be accepted.

Call 418-4553 to order.