Local church helps community pay MLGW bills

(WMC-TV) - One hundred forty Memphis Light Gas & Water customers received an unexpected blessing from a Memphis church today: paid off utility bills - totaling $35,000.

Hill Chapel Missionary Baptist Church members camped out in the 90 degree weather all day Saturday.

Their mission: to help 38108 zip code residents pay their utility bills, as the summer heat starts to peak.

"It's a blessing from God to my family," said Sarej Fernandez, an MLGW customer.

"Where we see a need, we try to step in," stated Reverend Robert Jones, pastor of Hill Chapel.

Rev. Jones $35,000 to customers identified by MLGW.

"We know that people are struggling in these economic times.  God has been a blessing to us and we wanted to be a blessing to others," said Jones.

Jones said Hollywood and Dexter served as a central location for the congregation to hand out the assistance, and utility payments weren't the only item on the menu.

"We have hamburgers and hot dogs.  We're just trying to fellowship where the self-esteem of the community can be built back up," Jones stated.

He said he brought the mission out into the community because the gospel is not just inside the church.

(Reporter): "What do you hope comes of this?"

(Jones): "That people will see that we do care and they haven't been forgotten and if we'll be able to bless them, maybe they can bless somebody else."

On June 30th, Hill Chapel Missionary Baptist Church will take their mission to Morris Park.  They plan to feed people, give out clothes, haircuts, dental work and hold a prayer service.

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