CommunityHamil R. Harris

Suitland Church Weathers Storm for Area Kids

As area students prepare to return to school, volunteers at the Suitland Road Church of Christ were busy last weekend passing out backpacks and other supplies, and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks took notice.

The Suitland Road congregation is one of many across the county giving out supplies as the school year approaches, but what is unique about this group is that it’s currently displaced because the roof of their building sustained heavy damage during a recent storm.

“I am amazed,” Alsobrooks said after she stopped by the parking lot of the sanctuary and greeted members on her way to another event. “Despite the devastation to their building, they held this event to support children.”

In addition to backpacks, three-ring binders, tablets, paper and other supplies, the Suitland members grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and gave out snow cones.

Elder Bill Davis and other leaders they the work of the congregation doesn’t stop just because they are out of their building.

“If you call yourself a Christian, you have to do things that God has established,” said Davis, who worked at the event along with his wife Sarah. “The Bible says that it is more blessed to give than receive. We are a community-based church, and how can you call yourself a Christian and [not] help somebody else?”

Evelyn Reddick, wife of the other church elder, said the church continues to distribute food to people in the community at their own building, despite having to temporarily hold services at the Forestville Community Center until their roof is replaced and repairs made.

Alsobrooks spokesperson Gina Ford said that the county executive drops by several community events every weekend. On Saturday, she also visited the Suitland Road Baptist Church, which held a health festival.

Elsewhere in the region, the Beltway Church of Christ in Camp Springs also hosted a back-to-school event Saturday. And on Aug. 24, the First Baptist Church of Glenarden will host its 26th annual health fair, with dozens of vendors, speakers, medical screenings and cooking demonstrations expected.

The event, which takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m., will be held at the church’s Worship Center at 600 Watkins Park Drive in Upper Marlboro. The focus is on seniors’ and men’s health, with medical and dental stations on site for screenings and information. There will also be a center devoted to youth and adolescent health.

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Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the Greater Washington Area. Hamil has chronicled the Million Man March, the Clinton White House, the September 11 attack, the sniper attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the campaign of President Barack Obama and many other people and events. Hamil is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of the Washington Post where he writes a range of stories, shoots photos and produces videos for the print and online editions of the Post. In addition, he is often called upon to report on crime, natural disasters and other breaking issues. In 2006 Harris was part of a team of reporters that published the series “Being a Black Man.” He was also the reporter on the video project that accompanied the series that won two Emmy Awards, the Casey Medal and the Peabody Award. Hamil has lectured at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, the American University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He also lectures several times a year to interns during their semester in the District as part of their matriculation at the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities.

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