Rev. Joe McNulty of Cornerstone Church (left) presents a check to Good Samaritan Executive Director Jolanda Hutson (right), accompanied by Clinic Administrator Cindy Barnett and Nurse Practitioner Stephanie Barnett (center, left and right). (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)
CULLMAN – On Tuesday, Cullman’s Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene (CCN) began a new partnership with Good Samaritan Health Clinic (GSHC), as Rev. Joe McNulty came to the clinic to present a $1,000 check to GSHC Executive Director Jolanda Hutson. McNulty hopes the check will be the first of many monetary and service contributions his church will be able to make.
While GSHC offers a wide array of medical services, the reverend was particularly impressed with the mental health care the clinic has provided for a member of his congregation.
Said McNulty, “Mental health has always been something that’s been near and dear to me, and I feel like, to a large degree, the Church has missed the mark. And I’m not just talking about our church, but about the Church as a whole. And I think it’s because there’s such a stigma, at least in people’s minds. And I tell people in my church all the time, if somebody is sick with cancer, we don’t hesitate a second, saying, ‘Let’s call them to the altar and pray for them’ . . . I said to the people last Wednesday night, ‘When was the last time you saw in any church somebody came and say, ‘I’m struggling with mental illness, or struggling with bipolar disorder, or personality disorder?’
“Inside the walls of the Church, there are so many people who suffer in silence, and they don’t reach out; they don’t get the help they need. And it’s simply because they’re afraid. And I said to the church, ‘It’s time. It’s time that we break down that wall, and it’s time that we say you can trust us–and trust is a big issue; it’s huge–and you can trust us, and we’ll love you, and we’ll help you in any way we can.”
While teaching his congregation about the need for ministry to those suffering from mental illness, McNulty received a copy of GSHC’s annual report, and he was moved to action. After reading the report and considering the ministry of GSHC to one of his own members, he met with the board of CCN and presented what he wanted to do. Board Chairman and Cullman County Schools Superintendent Dr. Shane Barnette reportedly encouraged him to proceed, telling him, “Pastor, I can only tell you they are the real deal. I’m so glad that you’re doing this. They are the real deal.”
McNulty told the board, “I’m not asking you to do this because I’m suggesting it; I’m asking you to do it because it’s right. It’s the right thing to do.”
CCN allocated $1,000 to give to GSHC as an initial gift.
“It’s going to be more,” said McNulty. “They said, ‘Pastor, we don’t want you to just send a check. We want you to go meet the executive director. We want you to meet the staff. We want you to tell them that we want this to be a partnership.”
When presenting the check, McNulty asked, “How else can we help you?” The pastor hopes to see his church make regular contributions and wants to see his members carrying out hands-on service projects for the clinic.
GSHC fundraising concert coming up
On Thursday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Cullman High School auditorium, GSHC will host its fourth annual “Caring for Cullman” concert featuring Triumphant Quartet and the Wallace State Jazz Band. Tickets will be available at the door, or from GSHC, Borden Family Pharmacy, Heritage Pharmacy of Dodge City, The Added Touch Too and Yates Chance Christian Bookstore.
For details, call 256-255-5965. If you are unable to attend but want to donate, visit www.goodsamaritancullman.com or call 256-775-1389, ext. 0.
For more on Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene, visit www.cullmancornerstone.com or www.facebook.com/cornerstonecullman/ or call 256-775-2756.
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