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Clearing the view for the man who opened windows of opportunity

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Clearing the view for the man who opened windows of opportunity

Pastor Richard Brown instructs Donnie Clark in the word of the Bible – never letting Lou Gehrig's disease get in the way of his faith.

JASON CAMPBELL/The Bulletin


POSTED August 27, 2009 1:49 a.m.
When Donnie Clark was cleaning the windows on an East Manteca home Tuesday afternoon, the process meant much more to him than just another job.

With his Five Star Window Cleaning business taking up the majority of this time, Clark – who worships at Manteca’s Place of Refuge (formerly First Assembly of God) and just recently enrolled his sons into class at the affiliated Manteca Christian School – the task of sprucing up the country estate that has for the last several months been the home of Pastor Richard Brown was more of an honor for the local resident than it was a chore.

After all, it was Brown who that planted the seeds for what would eventually become Manteca Christian School when it was he who was at the helm of First Assembly – an institution that has a special place in the heart of the father who recently sent his son to attend classes there.

“My son has what a lot of people would call attention-deficit hyperactive disorder, and he had nothing but problems when we had him enrolled in public school,” Clark said. “Once we put him in Manteca Christian School we noticed a marked improvement, and he really started to take to the faith-based curriculum that the school offers its students.

“I’m eternally grateful for how much Manteca Christian School has helped my son.”

And in a sense, he’s eternally grateful to Brown for laying the framework for what would eventually become his saving grace.

Tuesday’s free spruce-up session was a chance for Clark to say thank you to the man – who moved back to Manteca last year to deal with the debilitating Lou Gehrig’s disease clinically known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – who moved back to Manteca to live in-home where rent is being paid by the members of the First Assembly congregation as a thank you for the time he put into building the church into what it is today.

With the mercury creeping up, Clark and another member of his crew spent the latter part of Tuesday morning going over all of the windows in the rural country home as a way to honor the man who inadvertently affected his life greatly through his actions when he was at the helm of the church – something he couldn’t have been more proud to be able to do.

Brown delivered more than 9,000 sermons
“For a while we’ve been looking at ways to give back to the community and help those in need, and when this opportunity came about and I learned exactly who it was we were going to be helping, it was a no-brainer,” Clark said. “It’s an honor to help somebody who has done so much for so many people – a man that has delivered more than 9,000 sermons in his career.

“He’s a person who has helped countless people find the Lord and that’s something that really puts this action into perspective for me.”

Debilitated by the disease that severely affects the motor skills, Brown spent the morning confined to a chair and connected to a machine that aided his breathing – making the living room or whatever part of house he was in at the time his permanent location until somebody assisted him in moving somewhere else.

With his decades of ministering under his belt, the proof of who he touched with his words is apparent each and every morning when members of the church show up to help him do everything from getting out of bed to getting dressed.

Seeing that sort of dedication, Brown said, “It feels good to know that I was able to touch as many lives as I was able to during my tenure here in Manteca. Knowing that I was able to come back and have this sort of support is something that has made me thanking God each and every day.

“This is a very great thing for me and I’m humbled that there are people out there that truly do care.”
With his tools in hand, Clark continued with making sure that Brown gets a clear view out of each of the windows inside of his new home, and has big plans on helping out other families in the community that might need assistance as well – knowing that nothing he does in the future will compare with helping a man that had such a big impact on his own family.

“It feels good to be able to make a family happy, especially when it’s somebody like Pastor Brown that has done so much for this community,” Clark said. “We’re planning on continuing this and making sure that those who need assistance can receive it.”

Five Star Window Cleaning is a licensed operator here in the Central Valley and is searching for needy families who could use their expertise. To contact them call 450-2756.
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