‘Missionary’ Callie Cole spreads the gospel vicariously

Published 9:23 pm Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Callie Cole dreamed of becoming a missionary, even planning to visit Honduras in the spring of 2010 to spread the Gospel.

A horrible wreck months before she was set to leave kept her from realizing her dream. However, dozens of young people have told non-Christians in other countries about Jesus — all funded through Callie’s Mission.

Volunteers of the non-profit organization hold several fundraisers throughout the year. One of those is the annual Harvest Supper and Missions Banquet.

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“Callie’s Stampede” will be held at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church at 2305 Pleasant Hill Dr. SE in Bogue Chitto from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $50 at the door, but organizers are asking attendees to call and pre-register for seats at 601-734-2451.

The menu includes a selection of appetizers, whole roasted Cornish hen with sides, soup and cornbread, dessert and a drink. Much like Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede in Branson, utensils aren’t included with the four-course feast.

There will be door prizes, raffle items and a silent auction, entertainment and lots of fellowship with Cole and her family at the fifth annual dinner.

Two Lincoln Countians who went on mission trips funded through the organization will also speak, said Rachel Gatlin, Cole’s aunt.

Teens and young adults ages 15 to 25 years old can apply for a scholarship through the organization.

“Students can go on mission trips in Callie’s place until she’s well enough to go,” Gatlin said.

As of May, Callie’s Mission has awarded nearly $500,000 to over 766 students traveling to 78 countries over six continents.

“We never imagined it could be like this, but God knew it was going to happen and he’s been working it out,” she said.

Named for Cole, Callie’s Mission is an organization started by Jamie Gatlin and Cole’s family.  On Sept. 10, 2009, the Brookhaven Academy senior pitched a great game for the Lady Cougars, but was injured in a crash on her way home.

She came out of her coma to face intensive physical therapy and has regained some of her motor skills and her ability to communicate.

Callie’s Mission raises money for high school and college students to participate in spreading the Christian Gospel.  The organization sponsors students to go on mission trips in her honor.

“That’s what she wanted to do. She wanted to be a missionary to China. When she was about 10 years old she said, ‘I can see myself riding through China on my bike as a missionary.’ That was her heart’s desire,” Rachel Gatlin said.

In honor of Cole’s 25th birthday, Callie’s Mission hosted the first-ever Callie’s Palooza at Exchange Club Park.

Money is also raised through an annual golf tournament at Wolf Hollow and the annual Walk for Callie at BA.