A banquet held Thursday to garner interest and commitment to the non-denominational Rick Gage Go Tell Crusade in September drew a crowd of more than 600 people to the garages at the Rockingham Speedway.
“It was a very good crowd,” said Thad Ussery, task force co-chair. “I was overwhelmed by the number that attended.”
The financial goal for the crusade is $78,000, and so far $23,000 have been raised.
“We’ve done pretty good so far,” said Ussery. “Now we have to raise the rest by September.”
During the banquet, people interested in volunteering on a committee for the crusade filled out commitment cards with the committee they prefer to work on. Those cards will be sorted and the task force will assign committees. A training session for the committee members will be held June 18, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the First Methodist Church in Rockingham.
Other fund-raising efforts will go on in churches, as the crusade task force asks churches to take up special offerings. Businesses can still contribute, as can individuals.
The whole purpose is to be able to reach out to young people and all people to help them make decisions that will affect their lives,” said Ussery. “We have several churches on board, but we are looking for more. We also hope to get commitment from Moore, Scotland, Anson and Montgomery counties. There was a good cross section of different denominations of churches”
Ussery said the weather was ideal, and having more than 600 people inside a metal building didn’t require air conditioning for the whole event.
“I sensed much enthusiasm in all of the people that were there and I was well pleased with the way it went,” said Ussery’s wife, Mary Jane. “So many people came up after the banquet and wanted to volunteer for all the different committees.”
Among the speakers were crusader Rick Gage, who will host the crusade Sept. 16-19, with one day being devoted completely to youth outreach.
“(The turnout) was a great sign that our area is ready for this crusade and that they need a revival,” said Mickey Briles, who is involved in planning.
“This is not a Baptist or Methodist function,” said Ussery. “This is non-denominational, area-wide and God-lead.”
For information on how to donate or become involved in the crusade call Ussery at 910-895-5855 or Mickey Biles at 910-995-2356.
— Staff Writer Dawn M. Kurry can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 15, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.