ELLERBE — Eight “men of destiny” who have made it their mission to build a local center to keep children safe and entertained, will offer a fellowship for the community June 23.
The men — who include churchmen, the mayor and two town commissioners — have had an informal relationship for a number of years, said Bishop Arlester Simpson Sr., a group member. But they merged their destinies officially 2½ months ago, under the umbrella of the Mineral Springs Community Improvement Council.
“I am concerned about the betterment and the welfare of Ellerbe,” Simpson told town commissioners at their latest meeting. “It appears that the whole world has gone crazy.”
On Wednesday, Simpson said that only a gathering of committed community members could “save our children” and older residents who lived with limited means.
Simpson said the group referred to themselves as “handymen” — men who mended situations not by picking up wrenches and hammers but by joining hands with others. He hopes a similar group of women will form because, he said, women and men have different problems.
“We’re just in the infancy stage,” he said of the Men of Destiny. There’s no timetable for a proposed center, merely the hope that others will wish to become involved, too.
“We’re better together,” he said.
So far, the group has “reach(ed) out to people in the community and surrounding areas who really need us — especially in the winter months. We want to be able to be in a position to fill the (heating oil) tank at least one time.”
Last winter, Simpson said, the group lined up plumbers to repair pipes that burst during the brutal cold. It uses member dues to pay bills and coordinates with local workers willing to do the work, he said.
The Men of Destiny meet the first Monday of each month and comprise Bishop Simpson, pastor of Sidney Grove Church of Deliverance; Ellerbe Mayor Lee Berry; Town Commissioners Fred Cloninger and Jeremy McKenzie; and members of various area churches: Marcus Armstrong, Anthony Capel, Brinshaw Chambers and James Robinson.
Reach Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673 or [email protected]