On the tenth anniversary of its establishment, Perfecting Praise Ministries, Incorporated celebrated the opening of its new location at 205 1/2 Center Street in Norlina with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Nov. 19.
Bishop J. Terrell Alston, senior pastor, founded the ministry in Durham in 2010. In 2013, Perfecting Praise expanded to offer worship services in both Durham and Warren County before moving completely to Warren County the following year.
Perfecting Praise began its local ministry by offering services at the Norlina Volunteer Fire Department annex building on Norlina’s Center Street.
The ministry has also utilized the former site of the Warrenton Rural Volunteer Fire Department for worship services in recent years.
Perfecting Praise Ministries is now housed in the former Norlina High School’s agriculture building which was also used for auto mechanics and masonry classes.
For Alston, it is fitting that the ministry once again has an address on Norlina’s Center Street, which is split in half by U.S. 1.
“Now the church has moved back to where it started in Warren County,” he said.
Alston said that the new location offers more space — a sanctuary, two classrooms and a multipurpose room — and the opportunity for the ministry to do more to help the community. Plans include a clothing closet, partnership with the Food Bank of North Carolina to fight hunger, and workshops.
Perfecting Praise Ministries will hold worship services at 10 a.m. on the first through fourth Sundays of each month. Bible study is held at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.
All worship opportunities are streamed on Facebook Live for anyone who feels uncomfortable meeting in person during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Why is no worship service scheduled for fifth Sundays? That is when the ministry will conduct community outreach services, a major emphasis since Perfecting Praise was established.
Alston hopes to offer “pop-up church” in areas throughout Warren County to reach those who do not attend regular church services due to lack of transportation or for other reasons.
“People can’t get to church, so let’s take church to them,” he said.
The clothing closet and food giveaways can also be held at Perfecting Praise Ministries’ church building or at locations in the community.
The ministry will offer transportation services to worship services or events if needed.
Alston said that Perfecting Praise Ministries will continue its efforts to partner with a number of location agencies to connect people with services they need. These range from Vance-Granville Community College for General Educational Development classes, and Franklin-Vance-Warren Opportunity, Inc., and the N.C. Cooperative Extension Warren County Center for health and nutrition programs. The ministry will continue to provide workshops and training to address specific needs such as job readiness, health and nutrition, budgeting and paying bills, furthering one’s education, shopping for groceries, parenting skills and basic social skills, such as interacting with others and problem solving. Alston is excited that the new church building provides additional space for these classes.
Perfecting Praise Ministries is part of the Kingdom Empowerment Alliance of Churches, of which Alston serves as presiding bishop. He said that the Alliance of Churches also reflects the mindset of helping others.
“We hope to build up other pastors and leaders,” Alston said.
He is grateful to the people of Norlina and surrounding communities for the warm welcome that Perfecting Praise Ministries has received and hopes to continue to strengthen partnerships in the local area.
“People have been welcoming,” Alston said. “We will continue to look for partners to help us minister in the community.”