Men's Breakfast Report, August 2007
The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, August 11 with Jody Jones, pastor of the West End Baptist Church and president of the Freeport Ministerial Alliance.
Jody was raised in Cleburne, Texas and now lives in Freeport with his family. He is pastor of the West End Baptist Church. He told us a little about his church but the main emphasis of the discussion was the Ministerial Alliance. Jody believes that the church is called to bring people to Jesus, but not to a specific church. Therefore the alliance is useful for encouraging cooperation among the pastors in carrying out the mission of the church.
The Ministerial Alliance meets every Thursday at 8:00 a.m. at the Seaman’s Center, which also is a cooperative mission of the area churches. They formerly met at the Port Café, but the smoke was too much for some of the members so they moved. Although there are over twenty churches in the area the attendance is normally only about four or five. There is also a black ministerial alliance in the city which Jody would like to have join with them. A problem is that most of the black pastors have other jobs and therefore can not meet on Thursday mornings. There was discussion about changing the time of the meeting so that all the pastors could meet. One time mentioned was Thursday evenings, and another suggestion was to have variable times. Jody plans to make personal visits to all the area pastors to try to get them to participate. We discussed the participation of the Catholic Church in the Alliance. The Catholic Church is large enough to do everything itself, unlike the Protestant churches, and has a tendency to do so. The previous priest, Father Somerville, did participate in the alliance, but Father Jim Blocher has not yet participated.
The main program of the Alliance is the Fifth Sunday community worship services.
Some pastors are leery of participating because they are afraid that their members will move to another church. Jody tries to reassure them that this does not happen, but that this is a way for the community of faith to get together. We also discussed the possibility of an interfaith disaster committee, sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance. The school district is providing school buses to evacuate people who have no other transport out of the area, but requires the evacuees to assemble at the intermediate schools. If a person could get to the intermediate school, he could probably evacuate on his own. The churches could provide transportation from homes to the schools. This would require a large number of people for a short time but would have to be coordinated beforehand. Governmental agencies are unlikely to be able to do this since all their personnel will be busy with hurricane preparation.
The men had an interesting discussion and a good breakfast. All men are invited to come to the next meeting September 8th.