Helping Those Who Help Others

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, March 22, 2011

He ministers to people in Brookhaven, Natchez and Vicksburg. Heassists with Celebrate Recovery, the alcohol abuse program. He andhis wife have helped spread holiday cheer to less fortunatefamilies and have assisted needy families in the area andthird-world countries by giving away food and clothing.

However, Outreach Ministries Director Bishop Jerry Durr and hiswife, Frances, are the ones now in need of assistance. Thecommunity will soon get its chance to lend a helping hand with anApril 9 benefit.

“They have blessed people all through the years,” said eventcoordinator Joyce Brown. “They have the type of personality that ifthey can help you they won’t turn you down regardless of who youare or where you come from. The kind of people that love everybodyand do what they can to help anybody.”

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Earlier this month, Jerry Durr was getting his blood pressurechecked when his wife mentioned that his mouth did not look right.He had a very bad headache on the left side of his head.

A trip to the emergency room confirmed that the pastor hadsuffered a stroke. Jerry Durr has made several trips to thehospital since his stroke to receive different blood pressuremedications.

The pastor’s unfortunate medical condition is not the onlyrecent shakeup for the Durr family. Frances Durr has recently beendiagnosed with breast cancer.

“We were very upset and prayerful that they get well,” saidcongregation member Katie Byrd. “It was shocking, but we never knowwhat’s going to happen to us in this world.”

Parishioners are hoping to provide some support to a family thatgives back to the community all year long.

The benefit will be held on April 9 in honor of the Durrs at theold Saint James Church, which is now Outreach Ministries ChristianFellowship Center. The event will begin at 3 p.m. and will featureseveral choirs and soloists.

“We want everybody to come and show their support and love forthem,” said the Rev. Robert Winston, whose group will be performingat the benefit.

The Rev. Greg Warnock from First Baptist Church also is expectedto participate in the event. Warnock said it is an opportunity tohelp someone who has dedicated their lives to helping thecommunity.

“I’d encourage everyone to come and show their appreciation fortheir ministry in our community,” Warnock said.

Jerry Durr said he has been feeling weak, but is working towardrecovering his strength.

The stroke left Durr with slurred speech, but he has been goingthrough therapy to correct the side effect. He hopes to bepreaching again in about a month.

“I thank God people at the hospital were so nice,” said JerryDurr. “We are blessed to have this caliber of hospital in ourcommunity.”

Frances Durr had surgery to remove her cancer.

She has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments toensure her cancer is gone and to treat other possible cancer cellsin her body. Jerry Durr said his wife will receive chemotherapyonce every three weeks for three months and radiation every day forfive weeks.

If surgery and serious medical conditions were not enough, theDurrs’ truck has also recently been experiencing mechanicaldifficulties.

“It was just one thing after another,” he said. “But God isfaithful.”

The Brookhaven Outreach Ministries has continued to functionunder the direction of the current staff. The ministries’ directorhas even mustered up the strength to poke his head in the facilityto ensure operations have been running smoothly.

“I have a good staff of people working in there, and as long asI can check in and support them I want to come by there every nowand then,” said Jerry Durr.

For any questions regarding the benefit, Brown can be contactedat 601-265-7098. Donations can also be mailed to Bishop Jerry Durr,P.O. Box 1168, Brookhaven, Ms. 39602.

The Durrs are hoping to attend the function.

“We’re taking one day at a time, but we’re looking forward toit,” said Jerry Durr.