ALBANY — Tarlita McCrary said Saturday morning that even though the city of Albany has fallen into wicked ways, her Jesus Saves Ministry is helping the city find its way back toward righteousness.

“The Bible says heaven rejoices over the soul of one person; we’ve had two who have been saved and given their life to God,” the minister said Saturday morning during the third of her “taking-it-to-the-streets” ministry, started in the wake of civil unrest that shook the entire nation. “We’ve had people drive in here and ask us to pray for them. I’ve even had a lady call me from Virginia who had read one of the stories in the paper, and she wanted to know how she could begin the process of doing what we’re doing.

“So, yes, we’ve met the expectations we had for this ministry and beyond. The Bible says any city that will not go under the sackcloth and pray is an impotent city. You can talk about small impact or large impact, what matters to us is taking the message of Jesus to the streets. We need help in our community; there are areas now where murder is rampant. So we’re not just here to save souls, we’re actually working to save people’s lives.”

Believers had started gathering well before the scheduled 10 a.m. event start time Saturday, setting up tents and gathering self-made signs that offered messages like “Jesus Saves” and “Psalm 91 Is Real.”

“We’re here today to tell folks about Jesus,” Angelia Daniels and Charlene Porcha said as they dabbed on sunscreen and removed a pile of signs from their vehicles.

Donnie McCrary, Tarlita McCrary’s husband, said he supports his wife’s vision.

“I do whatever I can to help, to support her vision,” he said as he stood beside a cross he’d built to go on the float that is central to the ministry’s public meetings. “And this truly is her vision. What we’re saying here is real: Jesus saves, even in times like these. And we’re all disciples whose duty is to spread the word.

“I think all of us take this life for granted; that’s one of the things that came to me when I went on a mission trip to South America. I have a thing that I tell people: ‘I love you, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’”

Tarlita McCrary, meanwhile, said she has ongoing plans for the city of Albany.

“We have four main entrances into the city,” she said. “I want to get the city involved and have an hour of prayer at the same time at all four of those entrances. We can still do that and have social distancing and masks.

“They say as many as 300,000 people will die from COVID-19. So we have a lot of work to do. Of course, it doesn’t have to be COVID-19. Death is a sure thing and it can happen at any time. The question I want people to ask themselves is that if they died tonight, where will their soul spend eternity? I hope it’s with God in heaven.”

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