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Churches plan unity services

June 11, 1997

By CLYDE FORD

Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Rev. Alice Hunter is hoping a two-day celebration will help bring together Christians, whether they are black, white, Methodist or Baptist.

"Eleven o'clock on Sunday morning shouldn't be the most discriminatory time of the week," said Hunter, co-pastor of the Ebenezer Mount Calvary Church.

Congregations from various churches will meet for unity services at 6:30 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Monday at Wright Denny School in Charles Town.

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The event is being organized by Pastors for Unity in the Body of Christ, an informal association of Jefferson County ministers.

Pastor Jack Meikrantz of Liberty Christian Fellowship said Christians do not always relate well with one another.

"When we want to get together, we don't really know how to do it," Meikrantz said.

Part of the challenge is the diversity of belief among the different churches and their lack of connections.

"Even organizing the event has shown how difficult that can be because (we) did not have an up-to-date list of all of the ministers in the county," Meikrantz said.

Meikrantz hopes the meeting can help bring together Christians in the community, and that they in turn will connect with others.

"Denominations are only a name above the door. We're all planning on going to the same place," Hunter said. "If you can't get it right here and love your brother then you're not going to make it to heaven."

Meikrantz said a similar event in 1995 brought together 22 churches in spiritual and racial harmony.

But the good feelings that came from the service did not produce lasting relationships, Meikrantz said. More work needs to be done, he said.

A British evangelist had been scheduled as the speaker, but had to cancel the trip, Meikrantz said.

That could turn out to be a blessing, Meikrantz and Hunter said.

"It has to start with the brothers and sisters in the area," Hunter said

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