Barry and Annabel Mitchel have been staunch supporters of the Claresholm Church of the Nazarene for almost 50 years. This past Sunday, Oct. 13, the church presented the Mitchells with a distinguished service award to honour all those years of dedication and hard work.
Reverend Darryl Wicks made the presentation as part of the regular Sunday service. “I have leaned on you a lot in my eight years here,” Wicks said.
It all started 48 years ago when Reverend Russell Quantz asked Barry Mitchell to sit on the church board even before he was a member. Since then, the Mitchells have hosted in their home, been supportive of church activities and much more. They have also put a lot into another ministry, Wicks said, which is their family.
“They serve deftly, humbly,” he said. “They have been influential in the church without being controlling. “That puts the service in the distinguished service award.”
Barry Mitchell said when they first came to town the church was downtown by Home Hardware. Quantz came to their door and invited them to church. He had been preaching about revival, which was something Mitchell had been interested in back in Saskatchewan where they came from. A revival was actually happening in Saskatoon. Mitchell said if a revival broke out in the church in Claresholm, they would build a new church. Well, that is exactly what happened, and a new church was built. Mitchell pointed to people such as Gordon and Marlene Lamb, who contributed a lot to that new church, including making a lot of trips with their truck to haul lumber and more. Soon that church was completed, and it was virtually built debt free.
“This has been a wonderful church family,” Mitchell said. “The credit goes to a lot of people around us who have been a support to us.” Marilyn Gripping, a church member, said she was grateful to Annabel for encouraging her to play music in church. She also pointed out the Mitchells bring Aura Baker, who is 104 years old, to church faithfully every Sunday. “Her family really appreciate your family for doing that,” Gripping said.