Pass it on Ministry shares devotionals with those in need

Published 7:06 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Betty Bexley has always been an active member of her church.

She has also been involved with the Vicksburg community, and with this desire to continue to be involved and give back, Bexley came up with the Pass it on Ministry.

A ministry, she said, that was born out of her daily devotional readings from “The Upper Room,” which is a devotional magazine comprised of daily meditations written by readers of the magazine and others interested in sharing their faith experiences — both laity and clergy.

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“I got to thinking, here it is almost the end of the month, and I was wondering what do people do with their “Upper Rooms” once they finish reading them. Do they just toss them in the garbage or do they stack them up somewhere?” Bexley said.

Therefore, the idea of sharing them with others came to mind, so she called Ernie Hall, the director of the River City Rescue Mission and chaplain for the Warren County jail.

“I just love the work Ernie does and I figured he could use them down there,” Bexley said.

Hall was receptive to receiving the devotional material, therefore the next step, Bexley said, was to get the word out to others in her church about donating their used “Upper Rooms.”

“The logistics of this was just so simple,” she said. “I put the word out in our newsletter asking people not to throw their “Upper Rooms” away,” and set up a spot for members to drop off the literature.

“I got hundreds, hundreds. I had three big garbage bags full,” Bexley said, which included not only the “Upper Rooms,” but also other daily devotional reading material.

Bexley said she loaded up the material and when she got to the mission, Ernie, by some strange coincidence, was standing outside ready to help her unload.

“This was just a God thing,” Bexley said. She had not called Hall to let him know she was coming, he was just there waiting to help her unload, she said.

Hall said the devotional books have been greatly appreciated.

“As soon as I got in the cells, they were gone. Those guys hunger for anything to read,” Hall said.

Reading material does have to be approved by the Sheriff’s department, but Hall said, the devotional material is permitted.

Hall said he has also been passing out the devotional material at the rescue mission and in the community, where he knows there are people struggling.

“We are just trying to do what the Lord said to do, go out to the highways and byways,” Hall said, “And anything that leads to God and that is spiritually uplifting and is a daily motivation is all needed. If we can put a book in a child’s hand and encourage them to read about God, it could change the face of Vicksburg,” Hall said.

And in an effort to make sure the devotional literature reaches those hungering for faith and hope, Bexley said she and Hall will say a prayer over the literature before it is distributed.

“We pray that each individual book will go to the very person that it is meant to go to,” Bexley said.

The Pass it on Ministry is an ongoing ministry at Crawford Street United Methodist Church, where Bexley is a member, but for those interested in donating used daily devotional material; it can be dropped off at the River City Rescue Mission, 3705 Washington St.

“How many of us have something to offer and we are just sitting on it? We need to offer it,” Hall said.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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