Glimpses of goodness

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 22, 2005


husband, Joseph Allen, always described his Gates County birthplace as the &uot;Gateway to Heaven.&uot;

I did not see that until I had lived here for 10 years, become the editor of your newspaper and met so many truly concerned and caring people.

Recently, I met with several more people who again demonstrated what Jesus asked us to do, &uot;love thy neighbor as thyself.&uot;

That meeting took place at the home of Tom Morgan, a resident of Corapeake, where he had also invited J.S. Pierce, Coochie Turner, Dae Nixon, Randall Chappell and James Morgan to be interviewed. They wanted to tell the story of how friends, neighbors and businesses in Corapeake and Sunbury had come together to establish a fire station in the village of Corapeake.

Pierce, Chairman of the Gates County Board of Commissioners and the Sunbury Fire Chief, explained that for some time now, Sunbury fire fighters have had a &uot;mutual assist&uot; agreement with the City of Suffolk, Va. Many times, they have responded to the call for an immediate response to the scene of a fire.

Now, those stalwart firefighters of Sunbury’s Fire Department have also responded for many years to help the citizens of Corapeake whenever a fire threatened in that area. It was only natural that they respond when Corapeake’s residents and business owners called for help to build their own fire station.

In meeting with the fund raising committee at Morgan’s home, it was obvious from their remarks they have been working for more than a year to help Corapeake. They have helped raise funds, standing shoulder to shoulder with Corapeake residents as firefighters and members of the Corapeake Ruritan Club. Together, they amassed about $50,000 within a year. Now, they find that, thanks to inflation, they are far short of the $125,000 needed to complete construction.

I am certain that these people will stay the course and that the station will be built. They are nothing if not dedicated to their goal.

In these people, I saw a glimpse of God as they each spoke about this project. They spoke of cutting response time and saving homes and families. They also spoke of the generosity of everyone who had helped by donating goods for raffles, time to cook thousands of pancakes and sausages and even to open a foxhunt to the public to raise funds. Some people just gave money without receiving a thing in return.

Repeatedly, the committee expressed deep appreciation to every merchant, individual and civic group who helped raise funds. The consensus around Morgan’s kitchen table was that this project would never happen without the kind hearts of the people of Corapeake and Sunbury.

As I said, I saw a glimpse of God in that kitchen on that cold and rainy day. I came into Morgan’s kitchen that day, cold and somewhat wet, but I departed with warmth in my soul that you only feel when you have seen humanity at its best.

There is so much &uot;bad&uot; news everywhere we turn today and it is so wonderful to know in the midst of it all, God is working through people like those who make up Gates County, a locality that just may be a little piece of Heaven on Earth.

Anyone who would like to assist the fund raising project should call Dae Nixon at 465-8718 or Tom Morgan at 465-8670.