Sisters helping Selma

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Selma Times-Journal

An annual Christian fellowship draws thousands to the community and leaves a big impression.

The Alabama Baptist Women&8217;s State Auxiliary held its 123rd annual session in Selma. More than 5,000 people from across the state participated in the event, which was held Tuesday through Friday.

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Conferences such as these are an opportunity for merchants to thrive, said Mayor James Perkins Jr.

The convention came at a good time for Selma&8217;s merchants. Sales tax collections, less lodging, gasoline and tobacco, are $151,332.48 below fiscal 2007.

Sales tax figures from the city show in April, collections were $6,560.29 above last year&8217;s $926,996.38.

But sales tax collections were down significantly in October, December, January and April. Of those months, April stood as the month with the greatest loss &8212; $109,588.92 &8212; less than April 2007&8217;s $1.021 million.

Selma University and other churches, including West Trinity Baptist, 510 Small Ave.; Morning Star Baptist, 408 Buckeye Ave.; Ebenezer Baptist, 1548 LeGrande St. and Calvary Baptist, 3240 Alabama Highway 22.

Part of the funds raised from the event will benefit Selma University.

The convention is one of the largest fundraisers for the school.

Lowe said funds from last year&8217;s event help pay to renovate the cafeteria and for furniture for the school.

Dr. Alvin A. Cleveland, president of Selma University, said playing host to such a large group is &8220;quite a task, but we enjoy them coming.&8221;

The school offers courses in biology, business, general education and theology.

The workshops allow for an exchange of ideas regarding ministries and leadership within the Baptist churches.

Tommy Woods is the director for the boy Crusaders in Tuscaloosa. The group receives Bible training and learns how to conduct themselves in the church.

Woods brought 10 boys from Bethel Baptist Church in Tuscaloosa who joined the 700 others from the state in Bible drills, and oratorical and basketball contests.

Ebenezer Baptist Church played host to the Crusaders.