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Ministers bless new IAM building, which is dedicated to David Cook

The Rev. Tom Jones of the Hendersonville Rescue Mission lights a candle to signify the blessing of IAM's service to the poor. The Rev. Tom Jones of the Hendersonville Rescue Mission lights a candle to signify the blessing of IAM's service to the poor.

Volunteers, donors, supporters and staff members blessed the work of the Interfaith Assistance Ministry on Tuesday and stood for an extended ovation when it was announced that the new $2.6 million IAM facility would be dedicated to longtime leader, David Cook.
IAM President Lynn Pope thanked past presidents Bob Henson and Sherri Metzger.

Metzger thanked Cook for his leadership and announced the dedication of the building in his honor.
“He’s been the guiding force for this organization,” she said. “He has been the epitome of a servant leader. He cares passionately about helping those in the community who need that hand up and for this we will be forever grateful. From the beginning of the process of building this building, David has reminded us that first and foremost we must continue to take care of the needs of those in the community who need that hand up. … David was always there to remind us not to lose sight of why we were doing this. He has helped us to keep the faith on this journey.”
IMG 1389Sherri Metzger and David Cook.Cook, who retired last summer, was succeeded by Elizabeth Willson Moss.
“It’s not about me. It’s about the least of these,” Cook said. “It’s about you and your hearts. You’ve opened up your checkbooks and your heart to the least of these. That’s why we’re here. It’s all about them and it’s all about the volunteers who come here every day, and the staff and the leadership of the board of directors. Thank you all and thank the Lord and remember the least of these.”
In separate prayers of dedication, the Revs. Alfredo Oviedo of Grace Lutheran; Tim Jones of the Hendersonville Rescue Mission; and Steve Scoggins of First Baptist Church; and Rabbi Rachael Jackson of the Agudas Israel congregation blessed the food pantry, intake counselors, administration and the clothing closet.
“We are grateful,” Oviedo said, “that you have given us a mission: to provide emergency relief to Henderson County residents who are in financial crisis by offering food, clothing, funds, guidance and referrals in an atmosphere of compassion and respect.”
Praying for administration, Scoggins asked for blessings on executive director Elizabeth Moss and her staff.
“Give them wisdom,” he prayed. “You said if any lacks wisdom you would give it to us liberally. We’re going to need a lot of wisdom, wisdom to be able to discern when people come for help, wisdom to be able to keep these volunteers happy. I pray you give them great people skills as well. I pray that you would uphold their spirit. It’s so easy in a ministry like this to burn out, so Lord give them an unending supply of encouragement and strength. And Lord it would help, to continue to get them to give joyously.”
Capital campaign committee members raised $2.6 million.Capital campaign committee members raised $2.6 million.The capital campaign committee led by Jay Thorndike raised $1.8 million to start the building.
“Because of the generosity of about 800 county donors, our campaign brought in $2,623,000, exceeding our goal,” Thorndike said. The staff, board members and volunteers accounted for 32 percent of the total raised. The capital campaign committee and members like Grace Poli, a fountain of optimism when the challenge seemed at times to be insurmountable.
“Grace would say, as we were concluding our meeting, God will provide,” Thorndike said, “and did he ever.”
IAM plans a ribbon-cutting and will host the Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours at 5:30 p.m. Thursday.