The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 11, 2012

Mike Pound: Church demonstrates spirit of Joplin

I wasn’t surprised Monday to get an email from Stephanie Everitt about First Community Church’s annual Christmas Dinner for Others.

If the 2011 tornado that severely damaged the church wasn’t enough to force the congregation to cancel the dinner last year, it stood to reason that another one would be held this year.

Stephanie is married to Jim Everitt. They are among the 40 or 50 church volunteers who help serve the Christmas meal, which is now in its 38th year. When I chatted with Jim about this time last year, contractors had only recently turned the church’s Fellowship Hall back over to the members after months of repair work. At the time, Jim told me that the workers did a “yeoman’s job” getting the hall repaired in time for the Christmas dinner, and he also said that had been the plan since the night of the tornado.

“There had to be a 37th dinner,” is what Jim told me last year.

In her email Monday, Stephanie said that after 19 months of restoration, the church at 2007 E. 15th St. is finally able to hold services in the sanctuary. Stephanie said a rededication ceremony for the new sanctuary was held Sunday, Dec. 2.

“It is now time to start planning for our 38th Annual Christmas Dinner for Others,” Stephanie said in her email.

That’s the neat thing about folks in this area: They don’t spend much time twiddling their thumbs. By the way, I’m a great thumb twiddler. I think that comes from spending a lot of time on the bench when I played high school basketball. When it came to bench-sitting during a basketball game, thumb twiddling and knuckle cracking were the two most popular activities on my high school team.

Fortunately, there aren’t a lot of bench-sitters in the Joplin area. Folks in Joplin, instead of sitting on the bench, choose to get involved. They clean up, they rebuild and they reach out to others.

Some of that may be because folks in this area have seen so many people from outside of Joplin show up to help, but a lot of it, I think, is because we are fairly decent people.

We just finished a presidential election that supposedly showed us to be a sharply divided nation. I guess, on one level, that may be true. But I don’t know. I happen to know several people who attend First Community Church, and I know that those people are on opposite sides of the political world from me, but in the real world — in the human world — those people are on the same side.

Stephanie mentioned, in her email, that the annual Christmas dinner is very important to the members of First Community Church.

“It’s our way of giving back to the community as our name implies,” Stephanie wrote.

In the past, 650 to 800 meals have been served up at the Christmas dinner. Last year, Jim told me that each volunteer’s day begins very early and doesn’t end until very late, and when the day is finally over, everyone is exhausted.

“We’ll be so tired we won’t think we can crawl home, but we’ll also have a good feeling,” Jim said.

The Christmas Dinner for Others is open to anyone looking for a nice meal on Christmas Day. The dinner will include ham, turkey and dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberries, salad, green beans, and desserts. It will be served from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Those who need a meal to be delivered or picked up at the church may call the church at 417-781-1800 from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 21, and from 8 a.m. until noon Monday, Dec. 24.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • State audit of Joplin School District begins

    Staff members from the state auditor’s office have begun their audit of the Joplin School District, Superintendent C.J. Huff said Monday. They are expected to be in the district four days per week for the next five to six months, or perhaps longer, until the audit is complete, Huff said.

    July 21, 2014

  • Burglary conviction draws shock prison time

    A Joplin man who received 120 days of shock incarceration time Friday in a drunken-driving case in Jasper County Circuit Court was assessed a concurrent sentence Monday in a burglary case.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Family gatherings mirror circle of life

    The annual family gathering is getting bigger. There tends to be an ebb and a flow to most family gatherings. When you’re a kid, and especially if you’re a kid from a large Catholic family, the gatherings seem to be huge.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • 071714 Jasper Cty Dispatch1_72.jpg Area communities, Jasper County work to improve communications

    The first law enforcement officer to respond to a fatal shooting last November at Northpark Mall was from the Duquesne Police Department — not Joplin. Joplin police Chief Jason Burns said he wasn’t bothered by that. “We dispatch for them, and they had an officer close who could get there faster,” he said. “And getting help to people as quickly as possible is more important than jurisdictions.”

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • New and old TIF districts on agenda for Joplin council

    Another tax increment financing district is being proposed for Joplin, this one along South Main Street. The area is close to the new Mercy Hospital Joplin that is set to open next year. RKS Development is seeking authorization from the Joplin City Council when it meets Monday night to prepare a request to establish a TIF district.

    July 20, 2014

  • AndraBryanStefanoni.jpg Andra Bryan Stefanoni: Family grows by one — a black Lab named Raven

    If you haven’t experienced the feeling of a tiny puppy in your lap at the end of a perfect July Saturday — hammock time, s’mores, leisurely walks, you know the kind — I highly recommend it. It is pure joy.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • 042017 Jo Ellis_c.jpg Jo Ellis: Car show, sidewalk sale and more scheduled for weekend in Carthage

    All roads leading to Carthage should be packed this weekend as numerous events geared toward entertainment, cultural pursuits and bargain hunting are expected to pull in large crowds.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SusanRedden.jpg Susan Redden: Hobby Lobby lawyer to speak at watermelon feed

    Josh Hawley, who helped represent Hobby Lobby in arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court on contraception requirements in the Affordable Care Act, has been added to the list of speakers for Thursday’s annual watermelon feed sponsored by Newton County Republicans.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Do you think Missouri should pass legislation that would allow a prescription drug database to be kept?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter