By Dawn Hatfield
GREENVILLE — Representatives from St. Paul Lutheran Church met with firefighters at the Greenville Fire Department on Wednesday, Oct. 20 to show their appreciation for all firefighters do for the local community.
Mike Meckes of St. Paul spoke to Asst. Chief Brandenburg and a handful of fellow firefighters, “As a church, we don’t pay taxes, yet we know you will still show up to help us if we call.”
Meckes explained the church sets aside 10 percent of offerings each year to offer support in the community. It is easy to see that to “love and serve one another” is a main tenet of the St. Paul Lutheran Church mission, which is not so different from that of the Greenville Fire Department’s mission to “protect the citizens of the City of Greenville and their property… where and when assistance may be needed.”
In 2021, Greenville Fire Department, whose one station covers 6.60 square miles, completed 684 runs. The approximate 20-person department continually protects more than 12,000 residents and their homes and businesses.
“To show our appreciation,” Meckes continued, “we want to give your department gift cards for local restaurants—take out your wife or girlfriend and share a great evening together.” Meckes explained St. Paul’s would be furnishing enough gift cards for each member of the fire department to enjoy a total of $100 in prepaid meals.
In 2021, St. Paul Lutheran Church made a similar donation to the local police department. Meckes said, “The committee donates where God is leading us to help.” Additionally, Meckes said church members pray for the firefighters, police, EMS, doctors, and nurses—“all those who dedicate their lives to helping others”—at every Sunday service.
When Meckes said they’d be happy to continue to support the fire department in any way possible, Captain Myers joked, “I would say just keep paying your taxes… !”
Pastor Knoke responded with a laugh, “We will pay exactly what we paid last year!”
Meckes added in jest, “Actually, we’ll pay double!”
Contact Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at 937-569-0066 or [email protected].