Celebrate C.A.P.A.- An Example of Christ at Work in Central

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By Mia Freneaux

Almost 3 years ago, several pastors in the Central area saw their vision of the previous 10 years realized.  5 area pastors gathered for food, fellowship, and prayer at the very first meeting of the Central Area Pastor’s Association.  The pastors had envisioned a group of church leaders who would regularly gather to lift up the concerns of our town in prayer, and who would support each other in fellowship and strive for unity as the body of Christ in service to the citizens of Central.  After 3 years, this group has grown to include 17 pastors from as many churches.  They meet on the third Tuesday of every month for an informal lunch and to focus on 7 areas of prayer concern in our city: Families, Churches, Businesses, Government, Schools, the Media, and the Military.  The scripture they first used as a basis for their fellowship was 1 Timothy 2:1: “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”

CAPA is a group of area pastors whose goals include “building great churches that honor God and His word, continuing to build relationship with each other and the city, and joining with other ministries as necessary to reach Central for Christ.”  With that in mind, CAPA members have been extremely active in a variety of events.  In 2008 they co-sponsored the National Day of Prayer with Dr. Tony and Judy Lobue, who had been organizing it alone previously.  The last two years CAPA has had sole responsibility for it.  Gathering in front of City Hall and the School Board offices, the pastors and all others led to participate, pray for all aspects of our city.   In 2008 they began sponsoring the Community Worship service on the Wednesday a week prior to Thanksgiving.  The first service had 800 people in attendance, with 12 churches participating.  Last year, 1200 people participated, with 16 pastors assisting in the service.  This year, the service will be held at Zoar Baptist Church.  The past two years CAPA has grilled hot dogs to help raise funds at Cooking for the Kids.  This past March, CAPA had the vision to reach out to the Central Woods community. For this project to be a success, CAPA had to meet with BREC Park officials to get specifications acceptable to BREC and to get permission to build the court.  With the support of their home churches, CAPA raised over $5000 to build a basketball court at Kolby Park, and to have a cook out for residents with free hamburgers for all and basketballs to all kids 1st grade and up.  400 burgers were served, and 85 basketballs were given away.  Pastor Dick Metz  of Cornerstone Fellowship stated that on that day he was “proud of the Lord.  God always uses human vessels.”

CAPA members also meet at the mayor’s MMPAC breakfasts, and will assist with the new Central Community Assistance Foundation that helps needy Central families.  This is all in addition to their regular duties as pastors, priests, and ministers in their own churches. 

How can you help?  First, invite your pastor to attend CAPA meetings if they don’t already – Pastor Metz says the “pastors of Central are very nice guys – we really enjoy each other’s company.”  Second, participate in the community services and National Day of Prayer.  Most importantly, pray for Central churches and the pastors who serve them. 

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