By Terry Harpole
MABEN — The Mississippi Conference of Methodist Churches has a slogan adopted years ago: “Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts,” and Maben Methodist Church is one that really lives up to this and has for years.
The Rev. Scarlett Shepperd is in her third year and about to begin her fourth year here as pastor. She was a member of Flower Ridge United Methodist Church on the Louisville Charge and Maben is her first church to serve.
Shepperd is employed by a doctor’s office in Louisville and is living in Louisville, but she can be found in Maben several times a week, visiting her members and other people in Maben.
The Maben church is living up to the slogan “Open Doors, Open Hearts, Open Minds” in many ways.
Before Shepperd was appointed to Maben, the board of the Maben Methodist Church, voted to call off regular services each first Sunday in June for the Maben Memorial Garden cemetery memorial.
The Maben Memorial Garden cemetery is not a church cemetery and had never had a memorial until it started doing so four years ago, and all the money taken up that day goes for the upkeep and maintenance of the cemetery.
In addition to the church supporting the Maben Memorial Garden cemetery, it, like a few other churches, regularly has gospel singings.
The gospel singing at Maben United Methodist Church is not a Methodist program, but is a program by several people and churches, and it is each third Friday night. This singing attracts people from many places, such as Oxford, Newton, Amory and even people from some Alabama towns, as well as other towns in Mississippi.
On any fifth Sunday evening, you will find many people from the Maben Methodist Church who will join many other people for a big gospel singing at Providence Baptist Church south of Little Mountain off the Natchez Trace, a church pastored by the Rev. Randall Poss, who was pastor of Maben First Baptist Church for more than 30 years and a friend of all the people in the community. Here are two churches, one a Methodist and the other a Baptist, who are practicing “Open Doors, Open Minds, Open Hearts.”