News and Tribune

Archive

January 26, 2007

Winter storms hit rural pastors hard

NORMAN, Okla. — Pastor John Gifford of Shepherd’s Community Church knows what it's like to be a country minister working at a small church.

“I know because I’ve lived it,” Gifford said. “What goes into the collection plate Sunday morning is what the pastor lives on for that week.”

When a bitter winter storm hit much of Oklahoma earlier this month, covering roads and power lines with more than an inch of ice in some areas, Gifford knew he had to act. As a regional director for PastorCare, a national, non-denominational organization that provides financial and spiritual help to pastors in times of need, Gifford knew there were pastors at small churches across the state who were hurting because they were forced to cancel Sunday services because of the weather.

“Many pastors say they have no one to talk to in their time of need and that’s where PastorCare comes in,” Gifford said.

Gifford and other PastorCare volunteers have spent much of the past week driving across Oklahoma to find pastors at small, rural churches who are facing financial hardship because of icy weather.

“The storm has an immediate financial impact on them,” Gifford said. “When you’ve got to cancel services for two weeks straight because of the weather then that means there’s no money coming in.”

Gifford and Dan Price, a PastorCare volunteer from Goldsby, drove across eastern Oklahoma last week on icy roads in search of small churches in need of help in the form of a check to buy groceries or a just a few words of encouragement and prayer.

“Most people don’t realize that most rural churches have less than a hundred members,” Price said. “And about 50 or 60 percent of their operating budget is coming from what comes in the collection plate. These pastors are living on the edge.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

SPECIAL CONTENT
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
SKorea Ferry Toll Hits 156, Search Gets Tougher Video Shows Possible Syrian Gas Attack Cubs Superfans Celebrate Wrigley's 100th Raw: Cattle Truck Overturns in Texas Admirers Flock to Dole During Kansas Homecoming Raw: Erupting Volcanoes in Guatemala and Peru Alibaba IPO Could Be Largest Ever for Tech Firm FBI Joining Probe of Suburban NY 'Swatting' Call U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.