First Baptist gears up for shoebox ministry|Religion

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 17, 2009

It’s time again for Operation Christmas Child, a worldwide effort to help needy children across the globe.

To help

Shoeboxes, labeled “boy” or “girl,” may be taken to First Baptist Church, 1607 Cherry St., Nov. 16-21. Include a check for $7 for shipping. For information, call 601-636-2493 or visit

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Locally, First Baptist Church is gearing up to collect the gift-filled shoeboxes for all of Warren County. The church is a relay center, meaning boxes are brought there, taken to Jackson and forwarded to Atlanta for distribution.

First Baptist has served as a relay center for about eight years.

Hester Pitts, the Vicksburg-area coordinator for Operation Christmas Child, said more than 2,300 boxes were shipped last year.

“We’re not just talking about shoeboxes,” she said. “We’re talking about children who otherwise wouldn’t have Christmas.”

Through the effort, shoeboxes will reach children in more than 123 countries. The project is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, a Christian relief and evangelism organization led by Franklin Graham, son of the famous evangelist Billy Graham and president and CEO of the evangelistic association bearing his father’s name.

Boxes may be filled with small toys, school supplies and hygiene items, and dropped off at First Baptist Nov. 16-21. A dedication ceremony will be Nov. 22.

For more information, call First Baptist at 601-636-2493 or visit


Contact Everett Bexley at