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A place where possibilities are endless

HEXELENA – All God’s Children will have a Place of Possibilities.

Sunday afternoon members of All God’s Children United Methodist Church in Aulander and their guests gathered between Hexelena and Connaritsa to break ground on the Place of Possibilities, a new ministry of the church.

“We’re excited,” said Advisory Board Chair Juanita Staples. “We truly believe God has equipped us with you as a vital part of what has to be done here.”

Sandra Carringer, who chaired the Little Black Dress Ball, spoke about the fundraising event and how she believed God had orchestrated the sequence of events that led to the raising more than $130,000.

“We were just instruments of God,” she stressed.

The Rev. Dr. Laura Early, the pastor of All God’s Children UMC, said she felt it was important that the youth, who will use the Place of Possibilities, be represented among those who spoke at the ground-breaking ceremony. To that end, she introduced Tylil Cherry, a senior at Bertie High School.

“This is a community that loves sports,” Cherry said. “Right now, many don’t have anywhere to go. The Place of Possibilities can be somewhere we come together to celebrate and to play sports.”

Cherry went on to credit Early with helping him learn about leadership. He said he wanted to use that leadership as the Place of Possibilities became a reality.

Also on hand were a variety of partners for the Place of Possibilities, including the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA). David Wall, who represented that group, said he was excited about the partnership.

“What Tylil spoke about is exactly what we believe in,” Wall said. “You don’t have to teach children how to play.”

He went on to stress how fortunate FCA was to be partnered with All God’s Children and how they were looking forward to the possibilities that lie ahead.

The Place of Possibilities is coming about due to the donation of the property by Bill Early, who is the husband of the pastor. Early donated land that has been in his family for more than 100 years to see the Place of Possibilities become a reality.

“It is with a great deal of pride and satisfaction that I make this presentation,” Early said. “This property has been in my family since my great, great grandfather.”

Early said he had been in church for his entire life, but had truly come to know what church should be during the past 10 years at All God’s Children United Methodist Church.

“With All God’s Children, I have seen faith put into action and lives changed,” he said.

Early then presented a survey of the property to Staples in lieu of the deed, which is still being prepared.

Local officials also joined the church for its dedication.

Judicial District 6-B Attorney Valerie Mitchell-Asbell said she had known Rev. Early for many years and that she knew the pastor would follow God’s leadership.

“When God speaks, Laura is obedient,” she said.

Asbell then talked about her job as District Attorney and stressed her love for supporting victims and being the chief prosecutor on behalf of the people of the district.

“I love my job as District Attorney,” she said. “I love being an advocate for victims, but I would walk away tomorrow if there were no criminals to prosecute. We know that isn’t going to happen, but the Place of Possibilities will help get people out of the courtroom.”

Asbell talked briefly about the reality of gangs in the area and the need for children to have support and love at home.

“Laura, I say thank you,” Asbell closed. “This is what we need and I will do everything I can to help you.”

State Senator Ed Jones (D-4th) said he was happy to be a part of the ceremony.

“You are all possibilities,” he told the crowd of more than 100. “As Valerie said, we have too many going into her courtroom. We know we have to have courts, but do we have to go there? I think not.”

Jones stressed the use of the Place of Possibilities would be to help youth and others to steer away from courtrooms and into more productive tasks.

“This vision of the Place of Possibilities will be a role model for years to come in Bertie County and surrounding counties,” the senator closed.

Rev. Early called on the children of the church to help break ground, with each turning a small shovel full of dirt that pastor said would make its way back to the church.

After the ceremony, the Rev. Dr. Carl Frazier, Elizabeth City District Superintendent for the Methodist Church, closed in prayer.