North Santa Rosa

Seeing the Need, Taking Action

Seeing the Need, Taking Action

By Ken Johnson

(article submitted by Ken Johnson)


One of my greatest gripes about both churches and society is that so much need abounds and yet so little action is taken.  It’s like we are oblivious to it all!


Then, the other day, I was visiting a local church.  I live near it and haven’t been through its doors since my great-grandmother passed away.  Instead, like just about everyone else I know, every Sunday I leave my neighborhood to go to some church halfway across town to praise and worship.  Yet, for some reason, probably out of laziness, my wife and I attended East Milton Assembly of God.  They had a young preacher who looked about as nervous as a dormouse in a cat convention.  The young team had cleaned up the place well and I even saw a few folks that I’d lost track with through work.  As the service progressed, Pastor Brad Odom gave me a “come hither” look and made me walk the entire way from the back of the church to the altar.  There, he pointed at shoes, socks, and underwear on the altar.  As he put it, they were filling a need at East Milton Elementary School.  Being one that doesn’t cry, my eyes teared up as I saw children standing there instead of shoes and undergarments.  As I saw it, he was sowing seed and I wanted in!


According to Pastor Brad, there are over 750 students that go to East Milton Elementary School, which is my old alma mater. He could have said his breath at telling me about the massive poverty there as well as in the neighborhood.  The County’s own economic development arm once reported that the average family in East Milton only makes about $19 thousand a year.


According to Marsha Pugh, Guidance Counselor for East Milton Elementary School, “Many of the families of our students are either homeless or doubled up with other families.”   As Ms Pugh notes, “Understanding poverty in our own backyards is very difficult for a lot of people. Many do not have any idea what some of our students go through just to get to school. In some instances, school is the safest and most consistent place for many of our students. For some of our students, breakfast and lunch served at school is the only hot meal they’ll receive.”  Additionally, East Milton Elementary also has the largest ESE facility in Santa Rosa County – thus serving a large population of underprivileged children with special learning needs.


“Many times we miss a miracle by not seeing a need. Pastor Brad Odom and East Milton Assembly of God saw a need and God has done a miracle through them. This is what the church should be about,” says Tommy Moore, Superintendent of the West Florida District Assemblies of God.  Frankly, I have to agree.


Already, the church has been blessed in its program by exceeding its shoe goal.  Thanks to Convoy of Hope, Crown Church, Wal-Mart, and others the church already has over 350 pairs of shoes.  Now, the church needs the community to step in and help reach its goal of 100 packs each of socks and underwear for needy students.  To do this, the church has made things super simple.  If you just want to donate money, you can go to and send them a PayPal payment online that they will then use to shop for the students.  If you prefer to shop and drop off the items to the church, that is fine as well.  Just drop the items to:  East Milton Assembly of God, 5174 Ward Basin Road, Milton, FL  32583.  And, should you wish to do something otherwise, they even have a 2-2-2 FaceBook page, that you can link to from their website, where you can offer services to help buy, pick-up, etc.

Posted by on Jul 27 2013. Filed under Church News, Local. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

* Copy This Password *

* Type Or Paste Password Here *