Service project helps dozens of Morgan residents

By Kathryn May

Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, June 25 2013 3:30 p.m. MDT

Members from the Washington Heights Baptist Church in South Ogden dug up weeds, scraped off old paint and moved dirt as part of a giant service project in Morgan, and they will continue to do so for the rest of the week.

James Young, Deseret News

MORGAN — Hundreds of people descended on this small city Monday morning with shovels, paint and other supplies.

Members from the Washington Heights Baptist Church in South Ogden dug up weeds, scraped off old paint and moved dirt as part of a giant service project, and they will continue to do so for the rest of the week.

"Our main philosophy of our ministry is love God and love people," Pastor Jimi Pitts said.

Each year, the church chooses a community to serve.

“We do roofs, decks, porches, yards, paint all the houses," he said. "Whatever you need, we do it, and we cover all the costs, too.”

Morgan Mayor Jim Egbert said the church approached him a year ago and asked how they could best serve his community.

"This project is something that will help them immensely," Egbert said. "It'll just dress up the community."

The city identified 23 homeowners who could really use the help.

Homeowner John Hubbell says he didn't have a way to take care of his yard while he was stationed at Fort Stewart, Ga., for the past two years.

"We just got back from the military, and our house was in desperate need of help and care," Hubbell said. "I don't have words for how grateful we are."

Homeowner Gisela Lythgoe said she didn't have the money to buy a new roof.

"I'm overwhelmed," Lythgoe said. "I feel like I'm in a fairyland because my trailer is just so beautiful. I have a white porch and the trim is all white. It looks like a brand new trailer, and it’s wonderful and I’m just thrilled."

And after a long day's work, the volunteers looked tired and dirty, but they were smiling.

"That's God," said Washington Heights Baptist Church member Kathy Kippen. "He gives us our strength to do this."

About 450 people will participate in the week of service. The Weber State University football team will be there Wednesday to help move trees.

Egbert says the local members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wanted to know how they could help without getting in the way. They offered to feed the members of the community church for the five days they are in Morgan.

"People take vacation to come to Morgan, hang out for a week," Pitts said. "Doesn't get better than that."

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