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Kenney Dennard Publisher
Crisp Street Church of God in Christ Striving to Keep it Real

by Clarence Thomas, Jr.


Reaching, teaching, equipping and motivating God's people to handle any of life's situations using the word of God as a basis of their decisions is the mantra at Crisp Street Church of God in Christ says its Pastor Charles O. Blackmon.

Like the hill the edifice sits on in South Macon off Broadway, Blackmon wants its members to standup and standout as a body of Christ. To ensure that they do, he established some firm directives five years ago when taking the reigns as Crisp Street's new shepherd, after serving as assistant pastor his first seven years at the church. Community outreach and youth mentorship are its cornerstone. "I believe in the universal church," said Blackmon. "It's about putting people in the kingdom, not all inside one building."

Blackmon speaks of the numerous transients that Crisp Street has raised up right where they were before they eventually moved onto other parts of Macon or elsewhere. Some include the homeless - whom the church has fed every Wednesday for some time and the surrounding community, which gets a major free meal annually courtesy of the congregation. In 2007 Blackmon introduced Reach One Teach One, a Crisp Street based mentoring program for youth, as a means of changing their lives. The program's foundation is teaching young people to eliminate excuses and get better at taking responsibility for their actions. It's paying off. In a recent text from a teenage female Blackmon shared that the young woman admitted that she had been in and out of church a lot, but thanked him and members for still welcoming her on each return with open arms.

Like a hand full of other churches still making inner city Macon their home, Blackmon has charged Crisp Street with making the most of its presence. Leaving no one in need behind is his focus and Blackmon envisions a sparkling new playground and expanded building on the site of a current area near the church blighted by an old trailer and weeds. He's working with the county to get it removed. Increased visibility is paying off as well says Blackmon and has resulted in buy in by Crisp Street's neighbors. Individuals living nearby voluntarily cut the church's grass on occasion. Some have put out their garbage cans for pick up. Others watch for suspicious activity at the church during off peak hours. "We work with people to recreate themselves in their atmosphere. That's where our ministry is strong," he said. "Some one that can take a person where they need to go but normally would not is a true leader. And that's our goal...getting the other sheep. That's who we focus on."

Blackmon is balanced too. He has to be. Besides his liturgical responsibilities at Crisp Street he has a wife of thirty-three years and three adult children to share his attention with. And if his hands are not full enough, the Mississippi native serves Georgia's Bishop for the Church of God in Christ as an assistant and as the Peach State's Church of God in Christ's financial secretary. As Crisp Street closes in on ninety-three years of service this month Blackmon is pleased with its progress. He says the church is poised to continue making a difference because it has dutifully listened, learned and lived the word of God as taught by him. Keeping it real is Blackmon's message to them. And they have heard him loud and clear. "I may not have the largest congregation, but I have a very sound congregation," he stated. "They have trusted me to do the things that are best for the ministry and them. That means a lot to me. They are taking part in making a difference."

Crisp Street Church of God in Christ's ninety third anniversary celebration will take place July 26th at 2 p.m. and will feature Pastor Hilliard C. Arline IV of Abundant Word of Grace Church of God in Christ delivering the keynote address. For more information about the celebration contact church officials at 478-781-9811.

© Copyright 2015 by The Middle Georgia Informer
P.O. Box 446, Macon, • GA 31202 * Ofc:  478-745-7265 * Email: gainformer@yahoo.com

 

Gwenette Westbrooks
Pastor Charles O. Blackmon