FaithWorks Ministries has been an integral and well-known part of the community with its various ministries that serve an expanse of needs throughout Brunswick and the Golden Isles.

From serving the hungry at Sparrows Nest to providing both local and international aid with its textile ministries and simply connecting local groups, classes, churches and organizations with people or needs in the community, someone would be pressed to find a corner of the community that FaithWorks hasn't touched.

Being able to serve so many doesn't come at a cheap cost. Led by the Rev. Wright Culpepper, FaithWorks missions are continually able to make a mark on the area in great part thanks to the generosity of others who see how they serve and bring faith to people's lives.

And for the second year in a row, the organization will be bringing people together to both share the word on its ministries as well as pull a few dollars together in support of them.

Called a Celebration of Faith, the event, which includes gospel music, inspirational stories, fellowship and great food, will take place Sept. 4 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Registration will begin at 6 p.m., and doors to the auditorium will open at 6:30, Culpepper says.

"We will have a silent auction in the hall while attendees wait for the doors to open," he said. "Supper will begin at 7 p.m. - the meal is free and no one is under any obligation to contribute. The program will begin at 7:30 p.m."

Culpepper says that though the event is certainly a major fundraiser for the organization, a Celebration of Faith is most importantly designed to give people a glimpse at all that Faithworks does in the community. It's a chance for others to explore the possibilities of working with FaithWorks, too.

"Through live and video format, at least six people will share how God has worked in their lives through both ordinary and extraordinary ways. Additionally, we will have some good music presented by individuals and groups from various churches during the evening," Culpepper said. "Our hope is to entertain and to inspire all to live out their faith."

This year's event, sure to be just as successful as the previous year's, will have more of a local feel this go-round, Culpepper says, that should reach out and touch guests even more so than before. Instead of a nationally-known speaker again, Culpepper says featured speakers spotlighted through the program could be a friend, family member or neighbor.

"Last year was very successful with a little over 400 people attending and responding by making a contribution or by becoming volunteers. This year, we are expecting over 500 to attend," Culpepper said. "While we hope for old friends to attend, we also hope that people who know nothing or little about FaithWorks will attend as well."

Though the dinner is free of charge, FaithWorks is requesting reservations be made by Thursday so that enough food will be available for those who wish to eat during the Celebration of Faith. Reservations can be made by contacting Melissa Stroud with FaithWorks by calling 261-8512 or by email at melissa@faithworksministry.org.

Whether one is familiar with FaithWorks, wants to learn more about what capacities the organization serves in, wants to get involved or simply loves the idea of celebrating a group that is dedicated to the Golden Isles and its needs, this event is a perfect opportunity for any and all of those. Culpepper says it's a chance for everyone, regardless of faith or financial situation, to come be a part of something good.

"One of the unique things about this event is the diversity of people who will be in attendance. While there will be people who live on Sea Island attending, we will also have many who live below the poverty line.

"We are not just trying to find people who can give a lot of money, but we are wanting to help all know that they are children of God and have gifts and graces that can make a difference in the lives of others," Culpepper said. "To live out our faith by loving God and our neighbor is far more important than the amount of money that we might raise."

If there are any groups, organizations or businesses that would be willing to help underwrite the expense of the event by becoming a sponsor, Culpepper and FaithWorks would greatly appreciate the help. Those interested can also contact Stroud for more information.

* Reporter Sarah Lundgren writes about education and other local topics. Contact her at slundgren@thebrunswick news.com, on Facebook or at 265-8320, ext. 322.

Check it out:

Faithworks Ministries will host its Celebration of Faith fundraiser at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 4 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center, 75 Beachview Drive North, Jekyll Island. The evening will include gospel music, inspirational stories, fellowship and food. Registration begins at 6 p.m., but reservations for dinner are requested by Aug. 28. For more information or to reserve a space, contact the FaithWorks office at 261-8512.

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