Saturday, April 28, 2012


It was an incredible day of cleaning up our lovely city here in Laurinburg, North Carolina!! East Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church, which committed itself recently to taking the community back from polluters, litterers, drug dealers and more, was joined by several other churches, friends, and community leaders!! There were many volunteers from East Laurinburg Pentecostal Holiness Church. Headed by Gray Ammons and Major Broughton, this group took on a one mile stretch of Old Lumberton Road, the second group headed up by Pastor Edds, and Minister Ed Howard targeted Main Street (starting a Church Street) to the railroad crossing. Biggs and Atkinson Streets, all side streets and alleys and parking lots were cleaned up. We collected 925 pounds of trash!!! Main Street is shining and so is Old Lumberton Road!!

Thank God for our new partners!! We were joined by five outstanding young men from Grace Baptist Church, one adult and three youth from Northview Harvest Ministries, eight from The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, two from the Church of the Living Word, one from Multitudes Church and two from Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. There were 33 volunteers on our two teams!!!

Business owners who worked in the clean up of Main Street were Stephania Smith of Coffee, Tea and Thee, Terry Gullman of Hi-Lites, Tamera Tiejen of Bella Notte, and Jeanette Herlocker of The HelpLine. Chief of Police Johnny Evans, Minister Eddie Howard of Men of Valor Ministry, Rev. Richard Butler of Northview Ministries and Andrew G. Williamson, Jr of the Laurinburg City Council worked side by side with us all!! 

Some observations were made by our group during the cleanup that will help keep Main Street pristine. They are:

Each store owner should daily sweep and clean up the entrance to and the sidewalk in front of their business. Clean up behind the store building also. Behind one legal office, we found hundreds of cigarette butts, and a tremendous amount of trash.
It would be greatly beneficial if businesses that have parking lots or spaces would clean up these lots at least once a week. At one business, we picked up many, many plastic tips for small cigars plus many liquor bottles. This is not good advertising!
It would be great for the city to sweep Main Street once a week with the city sweeper/cleaning truck. This would keep the streets and curbs clean.
There was much debris underneath the beautiful benches on the Main Street sidewalks. We found a broken coffee maker and pot under one of the benches. We picked up much trash under the benches but there are much leaves and dirt. It would be a great help if the city workers who clean up Main Street would sweep and clean up under these benches at least once a week.
There are weeds growing along the sidewalk on Main Street and in some of the planters. We pulled up several of these. I encourage business owners to take pride by keeping these weeds pulled up. The city street workers could spray these weeds with an herbicide, which would eliminate the problem.
Citizens who are walking down the streets should take responsibility by picking up trash they see along Main Street and putting in the trash cans. We all have a responsibility to keep the city clean.
In other areas of the city and county, churches should adopt the streets, roads or blocks on which they are located. We have over 200 plus churches in our county. If all would do this, much of our county would be clean. Come on pastors, let's get our congregations motivated in keep God's earth clean!

Laurinburg is a beautiful North Carolinian city and Scotland County is picturesque. Tragically, both are being buried underneath trash being thrown down by people who care for no one but themselves. It is going to take all responsible citizens, governmental agencies, churches and civic groups consistently working to keep our city and county clean. Let us all ban together and continue to take our community back!!!