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Church heeds Christ's call with Operation Inasmuch

MANATEE — If all First Baptist Church of Bradenton was doing Saturday was transporting 70 lap robes to seven area nursing homes it would probably rank high in thoughtfulness.

After all, the homemade fleece creations by Mary Glee Watson, Marjorie Porterfield and their crew of about 25 church sewing circle and Sunday school volunteers are bright, sassy and very warm.

But the shipment of the lap ropes is just one of 10 different community-related projects the church is starting and finishing Saturday.

It will take 180 volunteers to pull off Operation Inasmuch, a bold endeavor hatched several months ago at church headquarters at 1306 Manatee Ave. W.

“It takes a huge amount of coordination and planning over several months and many people in order to do this one-day event,” said Delton Hayes, chairman of the mission team at First Baptist Bradenton and coordinator of Operation Inasmuch.

The project name comes from Jesus Christ’s statement in the Book of Matthew: “In as much as you did these things for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”

“I think it’s a wonderful project because it puts a special emphasis on our work in the community,” Watson said. “It also shows our church people have all kind of talents and that we are using those talents.”

Besides the sewing project by the Watson and Porterfield crew, there will be free automobile inspections for single moms and widows at Keener Automotive, 720 Fifth St. W., Palmetto, Hayes said.

“All they have to do is call the church office this week at 746-2149 and make an appointment to have their car checked,” Hayes said. “If they need minor stuff, like an oil change or tune-up, we will do that for free.”

Keener Automotive is providing the facility, and two technicians volunteered their time, Hayes said. The church will pay for materials, Hayes added.

Teams of volunteers will also make lunch for the church workers and deliver it and provide child care for their children during the day.

The project list on Saturday also includes:

n A visit by The Florida Blood Services Bloodmobile to the church parking lot.

n The painting of the interior of Children’s Academy of Southwest Florida.

n Delivery of comfort bags filled with toiletries and other necessities to sailors at Anchor House at Port Manatee and to residents of Brown’s Boarding Home.

n Repairs to various foster homes and local agencies.

n A food drive for Meals On Wheels Plus.

n Homebound visitations.

n Exterior painting of North River Care Pregnancy Center.

n Free car washes at the church with donations accepted for Haiti earthquake relief.

For more information, call 746-2149.

Richard Dymond, Herald reporter, can be reached at 748-0411, ext. 6686.