Whether someone is 5 or 65, it’s a safe bet they want to get money on their birthday.
Terry McNew makes no bones about the fact that her upcoming 65th birthday bash is all about the cash.
McNew is inviting the public to bring 65 cents to her birthday celebration at Granbury Baptist Church, 1200 Weatherford Highway. It will start at 6:50 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 15. Donations will go toward the ministries of Brazos River Baptist Church, where Terry and her husband Jim attend.
Brazos River Baptist has a long history of service to those who live in the Brazos River Acres and Mitchell Bend neighborhoods in southern Hood County, and Terry and Jim have been very much a part of it. They have been the driving forces behind the ministry since the church doors opened in November of 1990, but you probably won’t hear them say that.
The couple kept the church going – even during a time when it was just them and two other ladies. Now the average attendance for Sunday service is about 35.
“They kept it afloat,” said current pastor Mike Mathis. “They were not wanting to shut it down because they had hopes that God was going to do something.”
Brazos River Baptist Church has become the largest distribution site for the countywide food ministry sponsored by Granbury First United Methodist Church. Volunteers from that church deliver food every Tuesday to Brazos River Baptist.
Between the Methodists and the Baptists, there are about 30 volunteers at the food distribution site, Terry said. Between 155 and 165 families receive food there every week.
A new building is about to open on the Brazos River church property. The food distribution assembly line will be moved there, and there will also be an after-school program called Challenging the Next Generation. It will be modeled after a successful initiative in New Braunfels.
Mathis said the two-day-per-week program is expected to start in the fall. It will involve mentoring, tutoring, Bible stories, recreation and a meal, he said – all done with the help of church volunteers of different denominations.
Other ministry goals include offering support groups and counseling for those struggling to overcome all types of addictions – even hoarding.
These new ministries are why Terry McNew wants money for her birthday.
“We just want to explode the ministry,” she explained.
Lots of people know Terry for various reasons. In addition to her ministry work, she has been active in the area of homeschooling and for years has been a dedicated “runner” on election nights.
The diminutive woman with the unconditional smile typically is greeted with appreciative shouts of “Terry!” when she dashes in with vote tallies at locations where candidates and members of the public are eagerly awaiting results.
Those who don’t know her are invited to come to her birthday party and meet her. Donations of more than 65 cents are certainly welcome.
Anyone who would like to mail a donation should make the check out to Brazos River Baptist Church and send it to 215 N. Travis St., Granbury, Tx. 76048.
Terry jokes that name tags will be given out at her party because she’s so old, she can’t remember everyone’s name.
She was just in her early 40s when she first sat on a bench inside the doublewide trailer on FM 2425 and coaxed a hymn from the old piano. Over the years, she has coaxed those living in despairing circumstances to seek God – at least on Sundays.
Some, over time, began to seek Him more earnestly.
One is a mother of three, who lived a hard life. She not only is now gainfully employed, she has been awarded a management position, Mathis said. More recently, the women finally set aside the cigarettes and alcohol that she had leaned on for years.
Terry, 23 years after first setting foot in Brazos River Baptist Church, still has a feeling that she is supposed to stay at the tiny church near the Last Chance convenience store.
She just has this feeling that if she stays long enough, God is going to do something.
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