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Park it in the pew & get some fuel

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POSTED April 26, 2013 2:05 a.m.

LATHROP – Need gas? Need God?

Thanks to Lathrop Pastor Willie Anderson Jr., you’ll be able to get both on Sunday at his recently expanded Image Changers Church as part of a program he hopes will offer those in the community that need a little bit of help the hand that they need.

The first 100 people that show up for services Sunday at 9 a.m. will be given a $10 voucher redeemable at AM/PM after the congregation finishes worshipping.

It’s not a discount. It’s not a matching offer. It’s as good as cold, hard cash.

Consider it just one of a variety of social programs that Anderson Jr. hopes to incorporate as his fellowship grows in the blossoming community.

“After church we’re going to head over and take over AM/PM and pump it straight into the cars of the people that show up and say that they need it,” he said. “It’s a great chance to promote the ministry, and a chance to give people something that they need.

“It’s not a lot, but it’s a little boost. It’ll get them to that job interview or to work on Monday or the family out to a show. Most of all it shows them that somebody cares and when we work together we can bring a little bit of joy.”

Last week the church got the conditional use permit that they needed to expand into a new, 14,000-square-foot facility in the Mossdale Landing area of Lathrop. They’ve already moved in, and have plans to open a paid day-care facility – certified by the State of California and equipped to accept vouchers from San Joaquin County – by the end of next month.

 And since a standalone shipping business that will help provide revenue for the church won’t be ready until June, Anderson Jr. is reaching out to the community to help fund the $1,000 gas giveaway this weekend.

“People are losing jobs and times are tough for everybody – we just want to show a little bit of love,” he said. “We want to do whatever we can, be it programs or services, to help those with limited funds. Even though $10 might not be very much to one person, it can make a difference in the life of somebody out of work or searching for it.

“It’s a sign of goodwill.”

Image Changers Church is located at 17270 Golden Valley Parkway. Sunday’s church services will begin at 9 a.m., and additional information about the congregation can be found at or by calling (209) 275-1855.

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