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Church book study includes author interview

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Pastors and ministry leaders in Chilton County and throughout the nation have had to get creative to continue ministering in the past few months of social distancing requirements.

Many have used online resources to stay connected.

Jeff Herron, youth minister at Clanton First United Methodist Church, chose to start a series on “Be Great … Before It’s too Late” by Jerry Meek using Facebook Live and Zoom.

After reaching out to Meek for permission to use the book in the online format, Herron was able to schedule an interview with the author as a part of the series.

“I connected with the author a very unique way.  I emailed his offices to ask permission to do this on social media,” Herron said. “The author Jerry Meek actually emailed me back because of the email I sent.  I spoke about the youth group. Jerry accepted Christ at age 14. He understood how important it was to get the message out there.”

Herron said “the interview was great” as Meek answered questions from the group and spoke for about an hour.

“I love doing ongoing studies for the students,” Herron said. “This one hit me pretty hard because all students don’t have the same home life. We have some that have ideal situations and some that need encouraging. This book brings up several people that have different backgrounds that all seem to put God first and then he opens doors.”

Herron said while the Facebook Live events he started on his Facebook page were initially created for the youth he would ordinarily be able to meet with, those watching grew to 250 people, including youth and adults.

“The response has been overwhelming,” he said.

Herron said he hopes that through the series students hear and understand that “Despite your difficulties you can still make a huge impact.  Jerry made a statement to me that really hit home.  It was ‘don’t satisfy your present to sacrifice your future.’ I pray my students look at the big picture not just their current circumstance. Christ will see them through.”