POINT PLEASANT —Clothing the poor is no longer just a line of Scripture, at least not for the Gospel Lighthouse Church and its recently opened Jane’s Clothing Closet.
The clothing closet has been open less than two weeks though church members have been collecting items for almost a year when it sprang from an idea by the late Jane Payne, a church member who died of cancer in 2011. Jane is the namesake for the clothing closet and an inspiration for her remaining church members to follow through with her idea of serving the less fortunate. Of course, the ultimate inspiration for church members is the example of Jesus Christ.
“We want to serve others the way Jesus did and he definitely served the poor,” Kerri Coronato, wife of pastor David Coronato, said.
Kerri, along with church member Rhonda Fetty of Point Pleasant, were hard at work sorting donated clothing on Monday night. Fetty said Jane’s Clothing Closet definitely has something for everyone, including clothes for babies, toddlers, teens, women and men. There are also shoes, toys and baby supplies, such as car seats, when available. Kerri and Rhonda said Jane’s Clothing Closet has also been working with local consignment shops which are donating merchandise. This has resulted in the church converting two rooms in its basement to house all donations, some which arrive with tags still attached to the clothing.
Of course despite the outpouring of donations, there is always a need to maintain the clothing closet and right now there is a particular need for adult men’s clothing and shoes. Church members are also happy to take donations at any time though the best time is after church services on Sunday or on Monday nights when the clothing closet is open from 6-8 p.m.
David, who has been pastor at Gospel Lighthouse for two years, summed up how he felt about the clothing closet by saying it was “time to stop playing church and do what God told us to do.”
By that, David said he meant it was time to light a candle; to stop complaining about why the government is not taking care of people; to turn the mirror back on ourselves and ask “what am I doing about this?”
David said Jane’s Clothing Closet is “needed” and “one of the greatest things we can do is to make sure people have what they need,” just as Jesus did when he fed the poor and healed the sick.
Again, Jane’s Clothes Closet is not an overnight whim and the foundation for its success has been building for over a year.
“It has taken time but now it’s time,” David said.
There are no income requirements to receive the free items at Jane’s Clothing Closet and David said there will be no pressure from church members to push any sort of religious doctrine on to visitors. He said the items are simply there for those who need them.
The Gospel Lighthouse, which was founded in 1971, is located on Neal Road, on the hill overlooking Krodel Park.