Church offers Father's Day blessing of free gas
By Chris Day
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Whether they heard about it through a friend or just happened to be passing by, motorists packed the parking lot at a local gas station Saturday to take advantage of free gasoline. The gas giveaway was part of a weekend Father’s Day celebration sponsored by an Elizabeth City church.
Mount Lebanon Baptist Church sponsored the free gas-giveaway at the BP station at Hughes and Halstead boulevards. Several lines of cars snaked their way around the gas station’s building and up to the pumps.
The church, also known as “The Mount,” held the giveaway as part of its weekend Father’s Day celebration, which began earlier Saturday with an event that gave children the chance to make cards for their fathers. The church will also hold services today.
“Happy Father’s Day,” church Pastor Anthony Ferebee told one customer, who had finished up and was driving away. “Hope to see you Sunday.”
Ferebee said church members raised $1,000 to pay for the free gas.
The funds came “straight from the benevolence of our church,” he said.
A thousand dollars will buy a lot of gas but with as many people taking advantage of the church’s generous offer it wouldn’t take long to spend.
“When that’s gone, it’s gone,” Ferebee said, laughing.
Also on hand Saturday was the church’s youth pastor, Ervin Jones.
“One gas tank at a time, out here saving lives,” said Jones, who was busy helping to direct traffic.
The giveaway started at noon and shortly after 1:15 p.m., Jones said the church had already filled the tanks of 83 vehicles.
Customer Ed Fowler said he didn’t know about the gas-giveaway until he got in line.
“I had to get gas anyhow,” he said, adding that he happened to be driving by and saw the long line of cars in the parking lot.
Fowler said he had only been waiting for about 10 minutes, despite heavy traffic. At that time he was positioned one car away from the pumps.
Another customer, Sheila Felton, said she heard about the gas-giveaway from a friend. The brief respite from having to spend her own money for gas was a welcomed relief.
“It’s a great deal for me,” said Felton, of the giveaway. “God is good. It (the free gas) came right on time.”