May 29th marked the end of an era for Genesee County Churches United (GCCU) as Mrs. Helen Mullen retired as Treasurer after over 20 years of service to GCCU. Tears were flowing this morning as I reflected upon the selfless service Mrs. Mullen has exhibited, not only with GCCU but also to countless Genesee County churches, ministries, and civic organizations through the years. She and her husband, Mr. Robert Mullen, have been the face and voice of GCCU for quite some time, as Mr. Mullen has served as GED instructor at the Jail as well as Jail Ministry Committee Chair and Fair Committee Chair, gracing us with his strong tenor voice lifted to God at many a Fair Worship Service. Mrs. Mullen’s service has been a tremendous blessing to GCCU and she will be sorely missed.
The mission of GCCU is to bring Christians from all denominations across Genesee County together in the unity of the Holy Spirit of Christ Jesus to meet the spiritual needs of the community. During the Annual Meeting last night, Mrs. Mullen recalled the history of GCCU, which began as the Genesee County Council of Churches. The GCCU ministry has brought countless churches and individuals together serving in many ministries through the years, including All Babies Cherished, the Food Bank administered by the Salvation Army, a radio ministry, the Genesee County Jail Ministry, and the GCCU Youth Ministry.
Currently, the Jail Ministry is GCCU’s primary focus, with Pastor Glenn Bloom, Jr. (formerly of Elba First Baptist Church) as the new Chaplain, and Pastor John Kula (Total Freedom Program in Darien) as Assistant Chaplain. The Chaplain and Assistant Chaplain provide individual spiritual counseling to inmates, and the Chaplain coordinates a schedule that brings pastors, priests, and teachers from various churches as well as Gideons assigned to provide the weekly Sunday Worship Services and Bible Studies twice per month, along with Bibles, Daily Bread Devotionals, and spiritual support.
Former Chaplain Jay Grinnell and Assistant Chaplain Larry Becker (of City Church) have also served faithfully in the Jail Ministry, in spite of recent health concerns, pouring their hearts and souls into the inmates in order to bring them to a saving relationship with Jesus Christ. Pastor Becker has worked in the Jail over 20 years, spending far more time at the Jail than the few hours he logs in as Assistant Chaplain, working with the inmates and their families to provide the spiritual support needed. Pastor Becker’s volunteer time always extended far beyond his time inside the Jail, as he often worked with inmates to help them find housing, rehabilitation, and jobs upon their release.
On behalf of Genesee County Churches United, I would like to publicly honor Mrs. Helen Mullen, Mr. Jay Grinnell, and Pastor Larry Becker for their service to Genesee County, to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. I would also like to invite Christians across Genesee County to participate in GCCU by attending one or more of our monthly meetings, currently held the 4th Thursday of the month at 4:00 PM at Discovery Chapel, 315 West Main Street in Batavia.
Judi Piscitello, Secretary, GCCU