Athens Review, Athens, Texas

January 22, 2013

Scouts branching out to Eustace

Methodist church wants to offer closer alternative for participants

Jeff Riggs
The Athens Review

Athens — God put the idea in his head, and he followed through.

The Rev. Jerry Williams of Eustace United Methodist Church said he is in the process of putting together scouting activities in his city.

“The district executive (for scouting) came to us and said that kids in scouting normally don’t travel very far for scouting, and parents don’t travel very far,” Williams said.

Williams said Athens has two troops, and Malakoff and Mabank have one each.  These are the locations that Eustace parents have to take their children if the kids are involved in scouting.

“It fits good for a church and scouts to be together,” he said. “Because God and country is our teaching. In scouting, we follow God and learn how to be better American citizens.”

Williams has been pastor at the church since 1999. He also is employed two days per week as a guard at the Beto Prison Unit at Tennessee Colony, a post he has held for the past 27 years.

He was a scout when he was younger, and was a scoutmaster at the Athens United Methodist Church for a time.

Williams believes increasing scout activity in Eustace would bring more scouting to the church and help his church grow through those efforts. Definitely, parents will not have as far to travel to get their children involved.

Current plans have the church to be the local meeting place for both scouts and leaders. A charter committee exists, and will have its first public meeting at the church on Feb. 4. It will be at that meeting that the committee will pick the scout leaders.

Chris Bynum, lay leader at Eustace United Methodist Church, will chair efforts to meet with the charter committee. A former scout himself, he is anxious to make the program work in an area void of scout leader activity.

“It’s amazing that Eustace has never had Boy Scouts. My dad never had Boy Scouts here, and everywhere we have moved, he has been involved as a Boy Scout,” Bynum said. “I think it’s an important program, today more than ever before.  It’s important to teach leadership and good principles of nature.”

Eustace United Methodist Church is located at 401 Church St. in Eustace. For more information about scouting or the charter committee meeting, call Williams at the church at 903-425-8394, or at his home at 903-675-2757. His cell number is 903-477-4216.

Williams’ mailing address is P.O. Box 462, Murchison, TX 75778.

E-mail Williams at jgeraldw@aol.com.