Community Heroes: Fugates are changing lives at Rogersville ministry

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — For 36 years, Of One Accord Ministry in Rogersville has served tens of thousands of people and provided millions of dollars in food, clothing and other items to those in need.

It’s become more than just a place for Clay and Nila Fugate to spend their retirement years. They say they are changing lives through God’s love. The Fugates’ time volunteering at Of One Accord Ministries went into high gear after COVID-19.

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“We’ve always supported Of One Accord Ministry,” Nila said. “We have known Shelden and the people that worked here for a long time, and we always supported them with donations and food drives and different things, you know, and help occasionally with one-day events and that sort of thing.”

Nila said she spends the day talking with visitors at the ministry and works the phones; helping people find the resources they need, including clothing and food.

“Some people have been married for years and all of a sudden, they have no spouse,” she said. “Some of the children coming through are trying to rear a family, and inflation is so high, their food dollar and clothing dollar just does not go far enough. And we can step in with the food pantry with basic nutritious food and help them extend [their] food dollar(s) and have healthy meals.”

Clay spends a lot of his time on the road. You may see him in one of the ministry’s trucks, picking up food to stock the ministry’s shelves.

“Well, I usually go on Monday; we go up to Second Harvest, pick up a load of food, bring it back to church, some of it comes here,” he said. “Some of it goes to Sneedville. And all three of those stores are tied with this store, this ministry. And then on Tuesday, I go to Operation Blessing in Bristol and pick up food and bring it back.”

The Fugates and others at the ministry want visitors to know they are more than just a name on a piece of paper.

“Load the carts and push them out,” Nila said about volunteers and employees. “l welcome people. And if they’re elderly, they put the food in the car and that sort of thing. It truly is a team effort. And we want, whether you’re just a shopper, or whether you have a need, or whether you’re just here for information, we want you to feel welcome and we want you to feel loved.”

Love: It’s the foundation of this Rogersville ministry. A love for God, community and helping others.

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