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Ministry defies critics, gives shoes to pupils

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NEW ELLENTON --- A group of North Augusta missionaries Thursday donated shoes to Greendale Elementary School pupils and as school officials had promised, no religious strings appeared to be attached.

Judy Peterson, a volunteer with the Laces 4 Love ministry, puts a shoe on a pupil's foot at Greendale Elementary School in New Ellenton. School officials were criticized by a national group that said the shoe giveaway violated the separation of church and state.  J. Scott Trubey/Staff
J. Scott Trubey/Staff
Judy Peterson, a volunteer with the Laces 4 Love ministry, puts a shoe on a pupil's foot at Greendale Elementary School in New Ellenton. School officials were criticized by a national group that said the shoe giveaway violated the separation of church and state.

In all, 44 pupils -- roughly 10 percent of the school's student population -- received new shoes from volunteers with Laces 4 Love, a ministry of First Baptist Church of North Augusta.

School officials from Aiken and Edgefield counties came under criticism Tuesday from a national organization that says the ministry's involvement with schools is a violation of church and state separations.

Greendale Elementary counselor Gareth Hegler said the shoe giveaway lifts the spirits of many of the school's pupils.

"It's wonderful for them," he said. "It lifts their morale. It's a morale booster. For a lot of these kids it's a big part of their holiday."

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State contends the ministry and its shoe giveaway violates the law. A major issue, the group says, is a foot washing ritual that ministry organizers said in a Nov. 28 newspaper article was part of the giveaway.

Officials from Aiken and Edgefield counties have denied any religious rituals have taken place, and an Augusta Chronicle reporter present at Greendale Elementary did not witness any Laces 4 Love volunteers performing religious rituals or proselytizing Thursday. Pupils were provided sanitary wipes by the ministry to clean their own feet.

Throughout the week, Laces 4 Love has donated shoes at 25 schools in Aiken and Edgefield counties. They will have donated shoes to 12,000 impoverished youths by this afternoon.

Laces 4 Love volunteers at the school declined to comment, and officials at First Baptist have directed all comment to Aiken County school officials.

Reach J. Scott Trubey at (706) 823-3424 or scott.trubey@augustachronicle.com

Comments (54) Add comment
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Fiat_Lux
14853
Points
Fiat_Lux 12/14/07 - 06:55 am
0
0
Good for them! And high

Good for them! And high praise for Aiken and Edgefield county school officials for not caving in to the hateful and ridiculous organization trying to stop this act of generosity. It's too bad that, in their haste to thwart this kindness, those fools didn't bother to find out what really happens before they caused such tension. They ought to apologize, but they won't even realize they did something shameful.

CHIEF
2
Points
CHIEF 12/14/07 - 07:31 am
0
0
Awesome, don't let the anti

Awesome, don't let the anti christ stop you from doing the right thing.

patriciathomas
42
Points
patriciathomas 12/14/07 - 07:42 am
0
0
The anti-Christian left

The anti-Christian left suffers a blow in the war against Christianity. The good guys were able to do good even though the bad guys were howling and screaming "separation of church from state".

lady_alessandra
0
Points
lady_alessandra 12/14/07 - 07:44 am
0
0
Good triumphs

Good triumphs

DeborahElliott2
4
Points
DeborahElliott2 12/14/07 - 07:52 am
0
0
Praise GOD for the boldness

Praise GOD for the boldness and generosity!!! To the organizations against this sort of thing, take heed! Christianity will never die so long as there are churches who stand against your scrooge like attitudes! These kids got shoes, and what did you give them besides a hard time????

wise ole man
79
Points
wise ole man 12/14/07 - 08:23 am
0
0
It is about time the

It is about time the Christain majority wins one over the liberal left minority. WOW- maybe we can even get prayer back in school!

aaa
2
Points
aaa 12/14/07 - 08:37 am
0
0
yes !!!!!

yes !!!!!

aaa
2
Points
aaa 12/14/07 - 08:38 am
0
0
The religion of Christianity:

The religion of Christianity: 1
The religion of Liberalism: 0

Phish
0
Points
Phish 12/14/07 - 08:55 am
0
0
Hallelujah, Praise

Hallelujah, Praise GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

Phish
0
Points
Phish 12/14/07 - 08:58 am
0
0
I still defy anyone to show

I still defy anyone to show me a LAW or Constitutional Amendment that provides for the seperation of Church and State!!

tgray
0
Points
tgray 12/14/07 - 09:11 am
0
0
Let them give the children

Let them give the children shoes, please. Anti-God organizations like this one and the ACLU can go sit on a cow pie.

reallybugged
0
Points
reallybugged 12/14/07 - 09:14 am
0
0
'no religious strings

'no religious strings appeared to be attached," Good for them.

Jillian
2
Points
Jillian 12/14/07 - 09:23 am
0
0
Maybe they would be happier

Maybe they would be happier if someone was holding the kids at gunpoint to rob them of their shoes? You would think everyone could be happy when something is being done out of kindness for needy children....but no, we now live in a society that prefers evil over good.

I'm glad good prevailed in this instance!

Beach Brat
0
Points
Beach Brat 12/14/07 - 09:26 am
0
0
Merry Christmas, Enjoy the

Merry Christmas, Enjoy the new shoes! Praise GOD!

reader@work
0
Points
reader@work 12/14/07 - 09:36 am
0
0
Atleast now those children

Atleast now those children can have new shoes to last them for this year. Next year, hopefully, they can get another pair so their toes won't be cramped. God Bless!

CHATTYCAT
0
Points
CHATTYCAT 12/14/07 - 09:37 am
0
0
god is alive and well-his

god is alive and well-his people will keep doing as he instructed his followers to do. you people who are still trying to keep god out of this country are lossing the battle--wake up we are praying-at the race tracks at the football games and at our jobs ------we we not be defeated!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

griffinite0902
0
Points
griffinite0902 12/14/07 - 10:06 am
0
0
Good will always triumph over

Good will always triumph over evil. I've read the ending, and we win!

Chuchi
2
Points
Chuchi 12/14/07 - 10:31 am
0
0
Separation of church and

Separation of church and state simply means that there is no state religion, such as in many Middle Eastern nations where Islam is the state religion and the only religion permitted. Americans are free to worship, or not worship, as we please. A group of Christians is not violating any law when it gives shoes to school children. Neither would a group of atheists if it did the same. I find it rather interesting that I rarely, or never, hear of atheist-sponsored groups performing acts of charity for anyone.

Daddyrabbit
0
Points
Daddyrabbit 12/14/07 - 10:34 am
0
0
Hats off to those

Hats off to those missionaries AND the school system who didn't knuckle under to those idiots! Why is there always somebody who's trying to stop someone from doing a very good deed? Evidently they never needed shoes or anything else AND if the main perpertrator IS indeed a minister of the gospel he should take a very long look at where he really stands. Sounds like the title reverend is used to get more credibility than attorney at law! After all the difference between a lawer and a catfish is that one is a scum sucking bottom dweller and the other is a fish

lostmymind
0
Points
lostmymind 12/14/07 - 10:36 am
0
0
I agree with Dawn...why is it

I agree with Dawn...why is it that atheist-sponsored groups do not perform acts of charity for anyone?

jackfruitpaper833
41
Points
jackfruitpaper833 12/14/07 - 10:45 am
0
0
Thank God for Jesus....

Thank God for Jesus....

valleygirl73
0
Points
valleygirl73 12/14/07 - 10:59 am
0
0
When will people appreciate

When will people appreciate kindness and goodness? What are these people who object doing to make the world a better place? Sad to say but these anti-religion groups are verbal terrorist. They are full of hate and fear! A hardy AMEN and keep up the good work to Laces 4 Love and to the school districts!

uhhuh
0
Points
uhhuh 12/14/07 - 11:00 am
0
0
AMEN!! And merry CHRISTmas!!

AMEN!! And merry CHRISTmas!!

Venus
0
Points
Venus 12/14/07 - 11:03 am
0
0
Way to go! God wins another

Way to go! God wins another one and will keep winning! You can't stop the power of God and his workers! If you don't believe God and his workers have the power check your bible!

GOd IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What a Day
0
Points
What a Day 12/14/07 - 11:05 am
0
0
To God Be the Glory for not

To God Be the Glory for not caving in to those non Christian believers. Maybe their kids might need their feet washed one day. Merry Christmas everyone and much love.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 12/14/07 - 11:21 am
0
0
That's what Christians always

That's what Christians always need to do, just go ahead and do what God has directed, forget the naysayers, ignore the ignorant.

Gruvy Legz
0
Points
Gruvy Legz 12/14/07 - 11:24 am
0
0
Good, give to the needy!

Good, give to the needy! Don't argue this wonderful thing the church is doing! Good for yall. Spread the Christmas cheer!

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 12/14/07 - 11:26 am
0
0
The headline is misleading
Unpublished

The headline is misleading and you Bible thumpers disingenuous. Both sides compromised. The group gave out its shoes AND the offending rituals were not held. Sounds like a win-win.

Tawanda and Jessie
4
Points
Tawanda and Jessie 12/14/07 - 11:27 am
0
0
Giving to others is the right

Giving to others is the right thing to do. Many blessings to the givers and receivers.

KSL
122171
Points
KSL 12/14/07 - 12:05 pm
0
0
grouse, from what people

grouse, from what people stated who were involved, there were never "offending rituals" held. I don't see any compromising going on. Nor do I see where the organization poking its nose into business in Aiken And Edgefield Counties has backed off yet, either.

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