Two Memphis churches join together to pray for Haiti earthquake victims

By Ben Watson - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - On this first Sunday since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, churches around the world prayed for the dead and injured.

Two of the oldest congregations in Memphis came together to focus on relief efforts.

At First United Methodist Church, Sunday morning worship took the form of a historic joint service with members of Collins Chapel CME Church.

The service got underway with a call for donations and assistance for survivors of the deadly earthquake in Haiti.

Rev. Scott Alford of First United Methodist Church believed that faith was on the side of the victims in Haiti.

"Jesus always has been on the side of the least and the last, and Haiti is one of the poorest, if not the poorest countries in this hemisphere," Alford said.

First United Methodist Church has done outreach work in Haiti for several years.  Sam Dixon, a national church executive was killed during last week's earthquake.

"He had checked into a hotel before the earthquake happened and was killed in the collapse," Alford said.

Collins Chapel pastor Rev. Otis Higgs said his CME church also had a long history of doing outreach work in Haiti.

"The CME Church has a church there in Haiti," Higgs said.  "There is an organized effort in the CME Church to aid the people in Haiti."

Every year for the past four years the two churches have worshipped together to celebrate their special bond.  That bond began during slavery when First United Methodist leased its basement to the slaves who founded Collins Chapel.

Collins Chapel returned the favor several years ago when First United Methodist suffered a devastating fire.  Collins Chapel offered that congregation worship space in its building.

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