3 Upatoi churches come together for service

lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 25, 2013 

None of the three pastors know when the tradition began, other than it was more than 20 years ago, but they know they want to keep it going.

Every year, on the Tuesday during the week of Thanksgiving, three Upatoi, Ga. churches come together for a special community service.

On a rotating basis, one provides the location and food, one provides the music and the other provides the preaching.

The three churches are Upatoi United Methodist, Upatoi Baptist and Hopewell Baptist.

“It is a community event. It is all about unity,” said pastor Sammie Mathis of Upatoi Baptist, which, this year, is providing the music.

“We are not in competition. We are all on the same mission,” Mathis said of the churches.

Mathis said the service is popular with the members of the three congregations.

“We had a packed house last year,” he said.

Those in attendance are invited to stand up and tell others what they are thankful for at this special time of the year.

“It is not about denominations,” said pastor Chip Grantham of Upatoi United Methodist which is hosting the event at 7 p.m.

“This gives the people of the community time to come together. We have a great relationship with the other churches and I would like to see us do more things together.”

Hopewell’s pastor F.R. Smith will be giving the sermon. On Sunday, he was not sure exactly what he will be saying.

”It will have to do with not waiting until Thanksgiving to give thanks,” said Smith. “Be thankful all the time for what the Lord has given you.”

Smith is looking forward to the service this year.

“It is great fellowship,” he said.

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