By: Tony McCray
Dr. Calvin Avant’s non-profit, Unity in the Family Ministry, continued its outreach to the community by sponsoring its 13th Annual Angel Tree gift presentations and dinner at First Baptist Church of Warrington where Dr. James Miller serves as Pastor. Donations for the event were obtained from other churches, civic organizations and business throughout Escambia County for the children whose parents are incarcerated in state or federal prisons. A national organization, The Prison Fellowship Ministry, supplies Unity In The Family with names of children whose parents are incarcerated and they contact each of the families individually and invite them to the annual gift giving and dinner program. Persons who have attended the event in past years felt that the 2016 Angel Tree was the best of all the past Christmas charitable affairs.
The program was filled with readings from the Bible by Dr. Avant, Christmas songs by Terry Womack of Atlanta, Georgia. Pastor Rodney Jones of New World Believers recited a poem called “I Know I’ve Been Changed” and a sermonette titled “One Rhino”!
As the presentations were made the audience joined in on the Christmas songs and filled the multi-purpose auditorium at First Baptist Church of Warrington with shouts of “amen” and “that’s right!”
The dinner that was served following the on-stage program included green beans potato salad, sweet potato soufflé, baked ham, fried chicken, rolls, red velvet cake, and iced tea all donated by the sponsors. There were numerous volunteers who assisted in various tasks to make the event a success. Many of the volunteers represented the friends and family of Unity in the Family.
The sponsors for this year’s Angel Tree included: First Baptist Church of Warrington, Power House Assembly of God, Epps Christian Center, Revelation Ministries, Pace Assembly of God, Gulf Power, Wells Fargo Bank, Target, Publix, Rooms To Go, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Coles Wings and Things, Sacred Heart Health System, Hiles-McLeod Insurance, Gathering Awareness Book Center, Penske Truck and Leasing, Popeyes, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Davis & Associates Tax and Financial Services LLC, the Bingo Halls of Big Top, Beachside, and Paradise, the Pensacola Branch of the NAACP, Pensacola NAACP Youth Council, Pensacola City Council Member Jewel Canada-Wynn, Escambia County Human Relations Commission, John Taite Odds & Ends Fashions, Pensacola Police Department, and Pensacola Caring Hearts.