Thursday, November 28, 2013

Celebrate Fall Fundraiser with Great Commission

Doesn't it give you a great feeling to donate a used item for a worthy cause?

That's what happened to Kingsport resident Ryan Davidson and a recent visit to the Great Commission Church Fall Fundraiser. He says he was just driving by on East Center Street and the light at East Sevier caught him.

On the corner, he saw items for sale in the parking lot of the Ricky Rhoten Insurance Company. Items were being sold by the Great Commission Church during its Fall Fundraiser.

"That gave me a great idea," he says.

"I went home and got an older TV that I had back in college at Tennessee Tech," he says. "I'm upgrading to a newer HD TV set and I don't have space to store the older TV anymore. I just thought, well maybe I'll just give it to somebody. Then I saw the fundraiser.. I saw these guys out here on the corner and thought, maybe they could sell it in their fundraiser. I went and got it and brought it down here, and they can keep the money they get for it. It's a good TV, works well."

"If these folks can sell it in their fundraiser, I'll know I've helped somebody down the road. Gives me a good feeling to know that."

Great Commission pastor Matthew Thomas says, 'helping somebody down the road' is one of the reasons for the fundraiser, now in its 6th year.

"The fundraiser is evangelistic," he says. We hand out materials about Christ and the Church.. we have music and sing and it's just a wonderful fellowship. Sometimes, it's newer age Christian music and them sometimes, it's just good ole, downhome gospel that we were all raised on. People always tell us that it seems like we're enjoying the Lord's Fellowship, and that's the biggest part of the outreach."

"No matter what we do.. it's gotta be about outreach."

Visitors found everything from appliances to clothes, to toys, hardware, itchen items, furniture, computer accessories, knick-knacks and what-not. "You name it, we probably got it out here for sale," says Reverend Thomas. "We don't really price the clothes, we just take donations, whatever people want to give. Clothing is so expensive these days, that we just let them give us what they want and that makes it affordable for them, plus it helps us move the items."

"Out here, one man's unwanted item could be another man's needed item," Reverend Thomas says.

"Sometimes we have people lined up and ready to go while we're still unloading the trucks and cars and setting up tables," he says. It grows every year and everybody from the church donate items to be sold. Every once in a while we'll get donations from the community to sell, like the man with the TV.

And don't forget about the food..

"We do fish, chicken, fries, cakes and pies," he says. "Normally we don't bring out big food van here, we save that for festivals and larger events in Kingsport. The good food gets folks in the mood for buying."


"It's a good fundraiser," says Reverend Thomas. "But if you take the "d" and rest off, it's just FUN getting to meet people and fellowship with each other. "We gather and have fun in the Lord's Name and meet new people when they stop by to purchase things."

Davidson says he sees flea markets and things sold along the road all the time, but this time he stopped.

"They looked like everybody down here was having fun."