Imagine you are sitting on a park bench and someone - maybe a prostitute or a drug addict - sits next to you.
Would you move away?
For many the answer is easy: Yes.
But what if it's in church? How does that change things?
Rosemont Missionary Baptist Church is taking a very active role in rehabilitating the lives of people lost in their own problems, church members tell NEWS CHANNEL 12.
A member since 1991, Katina Dennis says she is now an usher. She also says it's a long way from her early life when she was addicted to crack.
"And I come from a family that was torn apart by drugs and alcohol," Dennis said.
"I was in the house: no lights, no gas, no water and I was just trying to make it," Dennis said.
Rehab at 'Whitfield' plus a stay at a three-quarter-way house eventually brought her, by chance, to Rosemont M.B.
She says that first service is the day she received Jesus.
"And the more I tried to sit there the harder he was pulling me and I just got up and I went up to the front and Pastor asked 'If you die right now are you certain you'll go to heaven?'," Dennis said.
"And i'm like 'No, I know I wouldn't because of all the stuff I had did, you know?'," Dennis said.
Pastor Jimmie Lee Edwards explains the mission of the church.
"Our vision here is where the hurting, where the depressed, where the confused and frustrated can find love, hope, help, and acceptance and forgiveness," Pastor Edwards said.
"And that's the principles that Jesus taught," Pastor Edwards said.
Pastor Edwards is constantly reaching to the surrounding community to spread this message, evangelizing.
"Everybody don't need money. People are really looking for a friend where they can confide in, where they can communicate - somebody that understand their feeling," Pastor Edwards said.
He told Dennis 22-years-ago "Now go and sin no more".
It's what the Bible says Jesus told Mary Magdeline. It was his dedication to help the new member find her way.
"That was a burden and a weight, living a life of using drugs and alcohol and being on crack, you know," Dennis said.
"You do a lot of things as a person as a woman that you're really not proud of and that you really don't want to do. But you do it so you can continue to get high," Dennis said.
"Sometimes it's just to get a meal. Sometimes it's just to have a place to lay your head. So I just thank god for that day that I received Christ because it liberated me," Dennis said.
"It freed me from all my past sins. I didn't have to walk around and carry them no more," Dennis said.
"My life has changed tremendously. I'm married. I've got a wonderful husband that loves me, you know? 18-year-old son. God is just good," Dennis said.
Rosemont Missionary Baptist Church is a part of "Working Together Jackson" - an interchurch group.
They've worked to organize community clean-ups and is working in area prisons to help re-integrate people in the community.
And if you'd like the viewers of NEWS CHANNEL 12 to learn more about your community, contact Jacob Kittilstad at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-664-8839.
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