CI Family Worship Center opens its doors
Sharing the wealth

Wanda English Burnett

CI Family Worship Center advertised a free sale in The Versailles Republican recently. Typically, a sale means a good deal, but a free sale?

It meant exactly what was advertised with everything given away - free- no strings attached.

The spacious fellowship hall at the large church located at 2377 E CR 250 S (at the top of Cavehill Road) near Versailles, was full and overflowed into the sanctuary and foyer of the church with useful items for families.

Everything from Christmas wrapping paper and decorations to vacuum sweepers was available.
People started lining up early and at 9 a.m. the doors opened. Helpers passed out bags and were there to assist shoppers as they made their selections.

There were no applications to fill out - no eligibility requirements to meet. The free sale was open to the community at large with the hope that items available would be put to good use.

Donnetta Barrett, who co-pastors the church with her husband, Tim, felt the need three years ago when the first sale was held.

“As a church we are so blessed,” she told The Versailles Republican. Tim said “We sow out of the abundance we have - looking for the harvest.” He echoed his wife, “We’ve been so blessed, we just keep giving it away.”

A sale of the magnitude offered doesn’t come easy. Throughout the year members of the church collect, sort, wash and repair gently used items, getting them ready for the big day. While most of the items were used, some new things were also donated for the event.

Donnetta said their goal is to fill a need, whether it be for a toaster or a coat. She said that might free up finances people would like to use at the Christmas season.

The polar opposite of the frenzied fiasco of Black Friday was experienced at the local event as shoppers enjoyed a spirit of peace and cooperation as they shopped.

Stories began to emerge as the shoppers found their needs met. One family had been out of work for a year and found a much needed coat for a child. Donnetta’s face was aglow as she quietly helped, knowing this was what God had directed her to do.

Another lady found five little lamps with globes - the exact amount needed to decorate at her church this Christmas. “I believe this is the working of the Lord,’ one member commented.

Donna Clark, Sharon Reece and Brenda Richardson, members at CI Family Worship Center, got together and took baskets of all varieties, purses and more and transformed them into beautiful gift baskets for the first 50 customers.

“We just tapped into God’s creativity,” Clark bubbled as she shared her joy of helping others. She explained that God is the Creator of all things and we are made in his likeness, therefore she believes all people have a creative side.

Members of the church were filled with excitement as they worked to make the holiday season a little easier for others. Some had worked into the wee hours of the morning on Saturday, making sure everything was ready when people arrived. Lisa Kirk was still straightening up the morning of the sale. “It’s easier to find things when they’re all neat,” she noted.

The free sale will again be held this Saturday, December 12 from 9 a.m. until noon and will be open until the end of the year, or until everything is gone.

CI Family Worship Center networks with other churches and various organizations such as Family Connections to help people - not only at Christmas, but throughout the year.

Pastor Tim said of the churches working together, “We’re all serving the same God,” and felt the ministry of helping people “where they’re at” is so important. He referred to the “great commission” spoken about in the book of Matthew in the Bible and said all Christians are to spread the gospel - even if it’s through a warm coat.

To find out more about ministries at the church you can call 689-5503. They accept gently used and new items throughout the year and plan to continue the ministry of giving.

Pictured above were some of the members of CI Family Worship Center with just a small portion of the items they were able to give away last Saturday at a free sale held at the church's fellowship hall. The church is located on Cavehill Road just east of Versailles off US 50. At left one of the youngest shoppers was trying on this guitar for size - with a little help from his dad.