Durr chosen ‘O’ Foundation VIP

Published 5:00 am Friday, October 17, 2008

The “O” Foundation honoree for this year’s Ole Brook VIP Banquetsaid he’s following some tough acts in Mayor Bob Massengill andBrookhaven Police Chief Pap Henderson, the organization’s twoprevious VIPs.

“It’s real humbling to be chosen as the VIP,” said the Rev.Jerry Durr of the Brookhaven Outreach Ministry. “That’s a realblessing because I guess there are some tall shoes to walk behind,but I sure can’t walk in them,”

“O” Foundation President Rose Polly Powell said Durr’s selectionwas an easy one, based on his work for the community in the yearshe has lived in Brookhaven.

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“He’s a minister that does so much more than just minister inthe church setting,” she said. “He’s done so much in the community.It was a unanimous vote for him.”

Powell pointed out that Durr has committed his life to serviceby establishing Brookhaven Outreach Ministries, the SouthMississippi Food Bank and the Local Food Pantry, in addition to hisnumerous other activities.

The selection of the VIP each year is based on nominations, andthen previous VIPs and “O” Foundation board members vote on thefinal decision. Powell said the choice was obvious, but she wasglad to see Durr selected for personal reasons as well.

“I voted for him because in 2006 when my restaurant burned, hehelped us a lot,” she said. “He donated a lot of things to help usand he didn’t even know us. When we did the first Thanksgivingdinner, he donated most of the food, and those things came to mymemory when his name came up.”

Durr was licensed to preach in 1984 and was ordained and beganhis Outreach Ministry in 1986, at the same time he started a radioministry. He preaches now at the Outreach Ministry ChristianFellowship Center, which he established in 1994.

“I thank God for being able to work here in Brookhaven with somany people with the same vision, just trying to help and make adifference in people’s lives,” he said. “Everything hasn’t alwaysbeen good, but it has worked together for good because we’re calledaccording to His purpose.”

This year’s banquet, scheduled for Dec. 5, is also being givenin honor of Ben Spearman, John Hightower and Max Thornhill, all ofwhom have passed away since the last banquet. All three were dearfriends and supporters to the “O” Foundation, Powell said.

Powell said the December event will take place at the LincolnCounty Multi-Purpose Complex. Tickets are available at Polly’sRestaurant on Main Street.

Proceeds from the banquet and reception will go to The Haven,Café A+ and the United Way. More information is available bycalling (601) 643-2929 or (601) 835-2268 or online atwww.theofoundation.org.