North Lake Community Church made good Thursday on its pledge to help Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM) make up for a funding issue the ministry will face next year.
    Pastor Ron Keener and his wife, Elaine, accompanied by church members Gary and Leah Mercer and Russell and Linda Lemond, visited the GSM offices in downtown Brownwood and presented the ministry with a check for $703.
    That’s the money church members raised for GSM in a recent fundraiser, and they’re not finished. The church hopes to raise a total of $5,000 by the end of next year to make up for a reduction in county funds GSM will receive in 2018.
    Church members, as well as others outside the church who wanted to help, made hundreds of small, intricately woven crosses, about 2 inches tall. On Nov. 4, church members set up at a table outside Walmart and offered the crosses for a donation. Some people stopped to make donations without taking a cross.
    Church members will have future fund-raisers with the crosses, Keener said.
    When Brown County Commissioners Court members prepared the county’s budget for the 2017-’18 fiscal year, commissioners decided the county’s contribution to GSM will be $4,800. That’s a $9,200 reduction from last year’s amount of $14,000.
    That’s a fraction of GSM’s total budget, but that money goes to a single category GSM refers to as direct aid. Money in direct aid is used to help needy people with rent and utilities, Stephens said. In 2017, GSM’s direct aid budget amounted to $20,000.
    When North Lake Community Church members learned of the reduction, they decide to help.
    See Sunday’s Bulletin and for an additional article and photos.