Faith Covenant Church of God got its start over 20 years ago, organized with 54 members. The organizing members wanted to help build their new church, so at the urging of the late Lottie Mitchell ladies of the church began to bake and sell pies.
“None of this would have ever come around had it not been for Lottie,” said Ann Adkins, a member of Faith Covenant Church’s Thrift Store board.
“We all wanted to work for the church. That was a good way because people love to eat, so we made pies,” added another board member, Margie Brock.
Eventually the Faith Covenant Church Thrift Store was in operation. The store moved around several times for the first few years, even being housed in the old funeral home on Willow Street.
The ladies of the board said that was not the best location the store ever had and joked that they had access to the place where people were once embalmed.
“We were all afraid to go in there,” Brock said. “It was very cold in the winter time and we had an old wood heater. We would sit there for days and wouldn’t sell many items, but we wanted to work for the church.”
The volunteers persevered and each time the store moved, it grew and became more and more successful.
It has been at its Broad Street location, near JCPenny, for nearly ten years.
Several members of the church volunteer their time to keep the store open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We unpack, hang out, price and clean up,” Adkins said.
Besides having funded several construction projects for the church, proceeds from the store help sponsor missionaries in Alaska and Mexico. The store also donates to CASA, ARC, the Methodists Girls Home in Scottsboro, individuals in need and more.
Volunteers at the store are also happy to pray with people who come in, or add their names to a prayer list.
“A lot of times they’ll come in with a burden on them and they want us to pray with them right then. So we do,” Brock said.
“That to me is what it’s all about,” added Adkins.
Brock said knowing the hours they put in at the thrift store benefits the church and community makes it all worth it.
“You have a good feeling when you know you have helped somebody,” she said.
The merchandise in the store comes from donations, and because of a generous community, the ladies say they are able to sell things at a good price.
“We keep the prices very reasonable and they’re getting a terrific buy every time they come in here,” said board member Syble Bohannon.
Brett Hogland, the church’s pastor, said the thrift store volunteers are the true reflection of what ministry and selflessness really is.
“They give of themselves day in and day out. They’re helping the community as a whole and helping individuals that come in,” he said. “If I could have everybody give as much as these people give, our church would be the top church, this community would be the top community and the kingdom of God would really be advanced like it needs to be.”
The church would not have been able to survive the years without their help, from the standpoint of setting a good example, as well as their financial contributions, Hogland said.
“They have made financial contributions that just can’t even be explained,” he said. “They’ve helped build the church’s life center, paved the parking lot and rebuilt the stage. I’m sure the list goes on and on and on. I don’t even know the full extent of everything they’ve done.”