Up & Coming Weekly

February 25, 2020

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 27 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM FEBRUARY 26- MARCH 3, 2020 UCW 27 Hope Mills News & Views Ronnie Holland knows firsthand what a suc- cessful organ transplant can mean to someone in need of a second chance at life. Five years ago, his daughter had a successful liver transplant at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill. Now, Holland wants to help other people in need of a similar life-saving procedure, or charity for other needs. After he retired several years ago, he formed a band he named Common Ground. As an outreach ministry of Hope Mills United Methodist Church, Holland's goal is for his band to help various indi- viduals and charities in need of financial help by holding concerts to raise money. The first one is scheduled at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 7th, at Hope Mills United Methodist Church at 4955 Legion Road. There is no charge for admis- sion but donations will be accepted after the service. Holland preferred asking for donations rather than having a set admission price. "We want people to feel led to do what they want to do,'' he said. The first concert will benefit the Jason Ray Foundation. The foundation was created in memory of Jason Ray, who wore the Rameses mascot cos- tume for the University of North Carolina before he was killed in a traffic accident. Ray donated his organs to others, and the founda- tion was started to raise money for the UNC Hospital Comprehensive Transplant Center Foundation. "This is something that's near and dear to my heart,'' Holland said. "I hope it takes off. Whether it's one person or 100,000, we're going to sing.'' Members of Holland's group include Belinda Davis, Linda Currie, Janet Beaty, Dave Probus, Morrie Turner and Scott Reese. A special guest at the first concert will be guitarist Brad Muffet, who for- merly played with nationally-known artist B.J. Thomas. The group will perform a variety of music during the event, Holland said. Selections will include gos- pel, 60's music, beach music, bluegrass and blues. Light refreshments will be served after the concert. Holland said the sanctuary of the Hope Mills church will hold about 200. If the sanctuary is full, he said they can stream video of the performance into the church family life center. "I hope it gets too big and we have to go somewhere else,'' he said. The event is called the Living Water Benefit, which is illustrated in an original painting by one of the group's members, Linda Currie. It shows a waterfall flowing underneath a cross. Holland said the picture symbolizes that Jesus Christ died to free everyone from sin. Water is included because everyone needs water to live, and water is used to baptize believers. He sees the transplant as being similar since it gives the recipient a new life. If anyone has questions or would like to make a donation, they can contact Holland at 910-624-4166 or by email at ronnieholland51@gmail.com. Common Ground seeks to help charities with its music by EARL VAUGHAN JR. NEWS Highland Baptist welcomes Anderson as new pastor by EARL VAUGHAN JR. The Rev. Danny Anderson hails from the state of West Virginia, but his entire preaching career has been spent in North Carolina.He recently added Highland Baptist Church in Hope Mills to his resume as he became the church's pastor in mid- February. Anderson and his wife Lisa came to Hope Mills after previously serving Baptist con- gregations in Carteret County, Havelock and Pollocksville. He also attended college in North Carolina, studying at Gardner-Webb University in Boiling Springs. He gradu- ated from Newburgh Theological Seminary in southern Indiana near the border with Kentucky. Anderson said other churches had approached him but he felt the calling of the Lord to choose Highland Baptist. "We took to the people immediately,'' he said. "As things progressed, the Lord just took care of it.'' Anderson's pastorate at Havelock brought him in contact with military personnel at the Cherry Point Marine Corps Air Station. He feels that experience will help him connect with both active and retired military from Fort Bragg who live in the Hope Mills area. "I've learned from that how to be in a community that's military-based, very patriotic and loves their country,'' he said. While Anderson doesn't take a cookie-cutter approach to working with each pastorate he's served, there is a basic order of settling in that he follows. "I see what the needs are, either being filled or needing to be filled, and take a plan of action from there,'' he said. Anderson said the emphasis of his ministry is one-on-one. "Everywhere I've been in smaller areas I've gone door-to-door,'' he said. "I made sure my card was in each house.'' His approach is to find out if they have specific prayer concerns, while at the same time trying to establish a rapport without being too intru- sive into their private lives. "That will be most likely what I'll do immediately,'' he said, "get the word out that I'm in the field.'' As far as working with the staff at the church, Anderson prefers a team effort and reaching out for suggestions on what's need- ed to best serve the congregation. "I do trust the people we have on staff, their calling in different areas,'' he said. "My managerial approach is not to microman- age. I generally allow people to use their gifts, getting all those talents together, everybody contributing a certain part to the puzzle to meet the needs.'' Anderson estimates it will take anywhere from six months to a year for him to become comfortably educated about the Hope Mills community, learn all the names and get a feeling for the local culture. Once that happens, he'll feel more comfortable about instituting any major changes that might be needed. "I'm not one to change or institute things for the sake of instituting something,'' he said. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it.'' Anderson said his main concern will be build- ing relationships. "People are people,'' he said. "Human nature is human nature. "Just being there at the time of need and developing that trust is basically the way I approach it.'' Anderson and his wife Lisa came to Hope Mills after previously serving Baptist congregations in Carteret County, Havelock and Pollocksville. Common Ground, pictured above, will perform March 7 at Hope Mills United Methodist Church.

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