FAITH IN FOCUS: Singing Praise in Jackson's "Greater Tree of Lif - WJTV News Channel 12

FAITH IN FOCUS: Singing Praise in Jackson's "Greater Tree of Life"

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The Greater Tree of Life Missionary Baptist Church in Jackson hosts anger management classes, alcohol and drug counseling, parenting workshops, and family life skill sessions.

The community does it all with one of the most passionate soundtracks you might hear on a Sunday morning.

The voices making up the choir echo through the worship space on Monticello Drive.

Its inspiration has helped uplift people in their darkest moments.

Stanley Fortenberry said he remembers when he started the search for this church. He was leaving behind Crystal Springs.

He was also responsible for three young daughters.

"I had lost my mother. I had lost my aunts. They were like a mother to me. Then, I had lost my wife. I'm in my second marriage now. At that time, all those things were happening together," Fortenberry said.

"I was just devastated. I was. I was just devastated," Fortenberry said.

"What really helped me is my relationship with god. It's my relationship with God. I began to get more and more involved in this church, in this ministry. And then I started to get more and more closer to god," Fortenberry said.

Longtime Pastor F.L. Blount said he is aware of the affect the church has on families.

"If family members don't embrace each other, well, what's happening is that those neglected by family members are looking for some love somewhere else. perhaps they go to the street looking for it," Pastor Blount said.

Pastor Blount explained that in his heart he has always felt like he should be doing more for the community.

He admitted he often turns to parents for help with the future.

"That's the purpose of this ministry - trying to bring families closer together. And all this crime and the violence that's going on, I mean, a lot of that starts at home," Pastor Blount said.

"Not only do I just talk it but I try to demonstrate it. You know, I'm about it. I let them see the light that's in me, man," Pastor Blount said.

Fortenberry recalled the efforts helping pull him from his deep diagnosed depression.

"I realized that God is about love and God is about relationships. And so I learned that it is very important that I express that to my family, my children, because one of the greatest gifts that we can give our children is our time," Fortenberry said.

Pastor Blount is also the leader of the "Healing the City Coalition of Jackson, Mississippi".

The coalition's goal is to battle poverty, poor education, drugs, and gang-related crime in the city.

If you would like to share your church community with the viewers of WJTV News Channel 12 contact Jacob Kittilstad at 601-664-8839 or


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Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569

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