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A month of service
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This past Saturday, the Redeeming Love Christian Church sent out four teams of five men each to serve the needs of seniors in the Covington-Conyers area. As members return from a July sabbatical from midweek services, rehearsals and meetings, they jump full swing into August — their Great Month of Service.

In their second year of offering complimentary help to ages 65 and up, the teams tackle minor plumbing repairs, drywall and painting, cleaning out garages, and landscaping. This year, the women are partnering to prepare meals and clean houses for the elderly. The church covers all costs of materials and labor.

For the first of five weekends, the teams painted a porch, cleaned out a garage and completed two landscaping assignments. They would like to double the number of teams and are inviting churches to partner in the work. Senior Pastor Arthur James Croone said they are not limiting themselves to serving the residential aspect of the community. They will help with repairs and beautification of homeless shelters, or organizations.

"It’s a labor of love," Croone said. "Everyone’s excited. It’s a way we can be a blessing to the community. That’s very important to us to be far reaching into the community and make a difference, as well as being a meeting place where people can connect and cultivate new relationships."

Located at 1931 Old Covington Road in Conyers, the Redeeming Love Christian Church is reconciling people to God by demonstrating the power of God’s redemptive love. In lieu of taking an offering during midweek services, members are encouraged to bring donations of canned goods for the food bank. As funds are available, the pastor counsels with those who need additional help in terms of gas and gift cards.

The church first met four years ago with 12 people in the club house in the Ellington Community in Covington. For three years, every May to July, the church sponsors "open gym" through West Newton Elementary School. A team of men gather on Saturday morning from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. to mentor children ages 12 to 19. The open gym ministry has grown to approximately 70. They open with prayer and share concerns.

"Our goal was to provide an outlet for the kids to have a summer activity, but it has grown into much more," said Croone. "Teens are accepting Christ, and building relationships."

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Croone is employed full time as the Electromagnetic Compatibility Manager for Cisco Systems in Lawrenceville. He received a Bachelor of Religious Studies and Sociology from St. Leo University in St. Leo, Fla., and a Master of Arts in Divinity and Christian Education from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta. Upon relocating to Georgia in 1990, Pastor Jamie — as he is affectionately known by his congregation — received his ministerial training and license, under the apostolic leadership and administration of Jonathan Alvarado, senior pastor of Total Grace Christian Center World Headquarters in Decatur. Ordained as Elder, he gave oversight and exemplified phenomenal leadership to several ministries — men’s ministry, diaconal ministry, and co-labored with his wife Tanya on the marriage and family ministry. They have six children — Eric James, Arthur James II, Christian James, Stephen Xavier, David Benjamin and Amiyah Jadyn.

Co-pastor Tanya Croone says she has been called to serve as a prophet, preacher and teacher. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she accepted Christ at an early age under the pastorate of her father, the late Dr. Novie S. Chaney Jr. She graduated from Ohio University, where she received her Bachelor of Business Administration.

"As a church, the Lord has given us a passion for the community," said Tanya. "We believe that the church needs to connect and reach out to the people in the area where God has called us to serve. The church at large should see itself as a shepherd for the community."

In addition to her speaking schedule, Tanya preaches monthly at Redeeming Love Christian Church and leads a Bible study. Her fervency for prayer has become a very intricate part of the very essence of her identity

Morning worship is at 10:30 a.m. followed by Wednesday Bible Study at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call (770) 922-1491 or e-mail