The New Jerusalem Seventh-Day Adventist Praise & Worship Center is celebrating its soft opening of the Midway Community Resource Center following the church's weekly worship service Saturday afternoon. The Midway Center will host cooking, tutoring, mentoring, as well as other programs to assist any needs that residents in the community have.

"Every Seventh-day Adventist church is, by virtue of its existence, what we call an adventist community services center. It is our humanitarian and community development branch of our church. We're very involved in our community. Seventh-day Adventists are people who love Jesus Christ passionately and we love our fellow men. We are here as agents of positive change and we determine intentionally that our churches, and especially New Jerusalem, will be a center of influence for community development," Senior Pastor Dr. Everton A. Ennis said.

The job program was designed to help community members who struggle to find a job with a living-sustainable wage. The program can help in cases like getting a resident access to a judge who can write proper representation for an attorney to get their record expunged, Ennis said. There's a great chance of cleaning one's record if that record is non-felonious, according to Ennis. There will also be workshops on small businesses to help residents who have a desire to start something themselves.

There will be two mentoring programs at the center, Men-TORS and STEPS. The Men-TORS program is for the men. TORS stands for Taking Our Responsibilities Seriously. The STEPS program is for the women. STEPS stands for Strolling Through Each Path as Sisters.

"So they're my stepsisters, but it's a loving term we use," Midway Community Resource Center Executive Director Darlene Sheardon said.

The church takes community engagement seriously because they believe that's the best method to evangelize.

"We pattern our ministry and our existence based off of the ministry of Jesus Christ," Ennis said. "We found that Jesus Christ mingled with the people as one who desired their good. He ministered to their needs. He won their confidence and only after he took those steps did he say, 'follow me.'"

Anyone in the Douglasville or Douglas County area is welcomed by Ennis and Sheardon to use the community centers at their pleasure. The soft opening will happen after Saturday morning's worship service at 11 a.m. at 4152 Midway Rd. For more information, interested participants can visit midwayresourcecenter.org or call 678-540-4420 and select option No. 2.

"Not only do we worship in this community, we live in this community. We shop, our recreation, so we're a part of this community. We're just not a place to come to for meeting once a week. We are a part of Douglasville. We live here. We want to see Douglasville do well," Sheardon said.

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