NASHVILLE, Tenn.––A total of 1,017 United Methodist Churches have spent $1.12 million at Home Depot stores.
Under an agreement arranged by the General Council on Finance and Administration, those purchases will provide $45,000, an amount that will provide 6,428 spiritual treasures to members of the U.S. Armed Services, fire fighters, police officers, and other first responders.
Bobby Smith, an executive with Home Depot, told the 11 Strength for Service Board members that if more churches would register, the possibilities of providing spiritual support for thousands of veterans, active troops and first responders is enormous.
Meeting Sept 25-26 at the offices of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, Smith told the non-denominational board the agreement to provide 3 percent of the purchase amounts spent on local church programs will extend to Dec. 31, 2017.
“The dynamics and commitment of this board is unbelievable,” said L.W. Smith, a South Carolina United Methodist layman, who chairs the 12-member board of directors. “Our mission to ‘serve those who serve us’ is in good hands. We look forward to communicating how everyone can participate and assist to make our resources available to our military and first responders. God is good.”
In other business, the board:
- approved Sept 23-24, 2016, as dates for next board meeting in Nashville;
- commissioned L.W. Smith and Larry Coppock to coordinate and confirm sub-committees to work in specific areas to report back within designated time frame;
- were led in a devotion by Robert Noland, a Nashville author and song writer who served as the ghost writer for Strength for Service to God and Community;
- approved a $142,520 budget for 2016;
- learned that the books are now being sold by Amazon, Cokesbury, BSA Shops and The Pennsylvania Fire Store;
- learned that the corporation has a new license to develop special editions of Strength for Service to God and Country with Abingdon Press, owners of the copyright of the 1943 book;
- agreed to make greater use of social media including Twitter;
- learned that Strength for Service e-books are available in through Amazon (Kindle), Barnes and Noble (Nook), Google Play and Apple (I-book store) for $4.99;
- called for a re-design of website; and
- learned of recent free book distributions following killing of five Navy personnel in Chattanooga, Tenn., the killing of a sheriff’s officer in Houston, Texas, and the killing of two and wounding of nine people in a Lafayette, La., movie theater.