unity in Loris
Photos by Cheryll Wilbur
Pastor Gary Lones and his wife Carrie gave away prizes this past Saturday at the Tall Pines Apartment Complex Block Party. The party was held as an outreach to invite children to Vacation Bible School at Victory Life Center this week. The outreach was well accepted in the small community and there are more than 20 children attending VBS and riding the Ole Victory church bus.
By Cheryll Wilbur
In a joint effort between a church and an association of ministries, God is using His servants to advance His kingdom in Loris.
Two separate ministries have come together to serve the people of Loris. Two men plus one mission equals “unity” in Christ.
Pastor Gary Lones of Victory Life Center and Apostle Chris Tullis of Kingdom Renovation Associations met by divine intervention.
The Tullis family was driving around through Loris and saw the sign for Victory Life Center and felt led to the Sunday service. Pastor Lones asked Tullis to come back that night to share his message about his ministry, Kingdom Renovation Associations. The two men of different ages had the same message with very similar styles. It was not long before they both knew it was definitely God with a plan bringing these two ministries together.
Tullis said, “There is a spirit of oppression over Loris and God has given Pastor Lones a vision for Loris to break the chains of oppression. He needs people to stand in the gap for him while he serves God and does His will.”
Lones and his family relocated to the Loris area about four years ago from West Virginia. He says he was called to move “south” and to start a ministry in the Loris area. He has been in the ministry since he was 19 years old. His ministry is based on soul winning and being a fisher of men. He and his wife Carrie have spent many years outreaching and in the last year have been joined by his sister Diane and her husband Paul Martin. The Martins work with the youth and run the bus ministry. His parents Wayne and Carol Lones recently relocated to Loris and play a part in the ministry as well. His mother-in-law Virgie Smith and his two nieces are also active in helping where needed. Victory Life Center is a place where miracles happen and Pastor Lones said, “I am absolutely honored to pastor a multicultural church. We all need Jesus.”
Tullis and his parents relocated to the North Myrtle Beach area after the textile business in Greenwood moved overseas. He was called to preach when he was 14 years old. He submitted to God at 18.
He started feeding the homeless and later established Kingdom Renovation Associations which is a multicultural association with various churches in the North Myrtle Beach, Loris, Conway and Marion areas. They demonstrate churches how to reach out to all people. He has been called to focus on four areas including outreach, fighting religious spirits, promiscuous spirits and the fight against racism. Tullis said, “We equip ministers to go out and outreach.”
Lones and Tullis have a passion for the city of Loris. Soul winning is the priority which led the men to holding a block party at Tall Pines Apartment complex sponsored by both ministries. With a VLC bus ministry in order, the next step will be to fill it up. The vision became an action plan that would grow into something bigger.
Pastor Lones said, “We found a honey hole of souls that need saving.” Tall Pines is a low income housing facility and some residents don’t own vehicles but still should have the opportunity to attend church.
According to the new property manager, Marcia Paul of Loris, there is not a lot to do in the neighborhood. She hopes to bring in playground equipment and a possible picnic area for residents and new landscaping to create more of a neighborhood feeling. A lot of the families have been living in this complex for many years. She hopes to beautify the property and build a community for the kids so they have somewhere to play and be safe. She and Walter Livingston, a resident, worked hard along side the two ministries to plan a successful block party for the neighborhood.
Livingston has lived at Tall Pines for 14 years and has family who lives there as well. He helps with inside and outside maintenance and assists Paul with the apartments.
The children who live here think of Livingston as a role model and mentor. He encouraged the children at the block party to attend Vacation Bible School and even ask the mothers to allow them to attend VLC.
With planning and team effort, a bouncy house, hot dogs, barbecue chicken, fellowship and worship, the VLC team, Kingdom Renovation Association and the management of Tall Pines came together in unity. The Tullis’ sang praises unto the Lord. Shortly after they began to worship, the tent was filled with children. There were more children under the worship tent singing “There Is An Army Rising Up” than on the bouncy house. Following Saturday’s outreach, the bus made two trips Sunday in an effort to bring new souls to church. Vacation Bible School also has a tremendous turnout of all ages and will continue each night this week with family day on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Victory Life Center on Rose Street in Loris.
There has already been one baptism and several children praying for individual needs.
Victory Life Center and Kingdom Renovation Associates can be found on Facebook and they invite everyone to attend VBS this week, Friday night Youth Explosion and regular services.
Farmers market is open
The new Dollar General held its grand opening and ribbon cutting on Saturday, July 18, at 8 a.m. Approximately 80 people were waiting in line for the doors to open. The first 50 customers received a $10 gift card. Also, goody bags and door prizes were given out during the day. The new store is located at 2337 Hwy. 701 S. in Loris. Please stop by and welcome them to Loris.
Future Lions Football Camp will be held on Saturday, Aug. 1, from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Cost of the camp is free. It is open to players ages 7-12 that are planning on participating in the upcoming football season with the Loris Recreation Department. Wear appropriate clothing for physical activity. A water refill station will be provided so bring a water bottle.
The camp is going to be broken down into two sections, 8 to 10 a.m. Observe the varsity Lions practice at the Loris High School football practice field from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Players will be broken down by positions and will work with the varsity players. Recreation coaches will meet with Loris Lions Head Coach Jamie Snider.
The Loris Recreation Department will be open for early registration for the upcoming football season. It is open to children ages 7-12. The registration fee is $40 and you will need to bring a copy of the child’s birth certificate.
If you have any questions please contact the Loris Recreation Department at 843-756-9804.
The Loris Farmers Market will be open on Thursday at the corner of Main Street and Meeting Street at the clock. Stop by and check out your local farmers.
Love where you Live…Stay local! SHOP LORIS FIRST!
The Loris Recreation Department and Loris Lions Varsity football team are partnering to host a FOOTBALL CAMP for kids in the community... Molly COX celebrated her 11th birthday this Monday at the Waccamaw River as well as going to Frank Theaters... St. Stephen A.M.E. Church will celebrate 100 years of serving God at 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 26... Jessi FORD and Hope Prince STRICKLAND are both looking forward to their birthdays on Friday, July 24... Candice Boyd LONG, Kelsey TODD, Taylor HANN and Margaret Vogel RIGGS are all celebrating birthdays on Saturday, July 25... A special birthday wish goes to Samantha Ward NORRIS of the Loris Chamber of Commerce on Sunday, July 26... Adrianna Grace, Alicia ANDERSON, Summer Vaught ANDERSON, Danny COX, Mark STEVENS and Scott GERALD are all looking forward to birthdays on Wednesday, July 29... Jessica FORBUSH and Edith WHALEY are having birthdays on Thursday, July 30...