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      Church adopts program to help congregation save

      St. James Missionary Baptist Church has adopted a 52 week program for their members to help them save money.The program starts with a member saving $1.00 the first week, $2.00 the second week and continuing to increase each week until a total of $1,378 has been saved in one year.Pastor Lawrence Knighton brought the program in for his members as he said "we believe in holistic ministry; its about faith, family, finance, and fitness."Pastor Knighton adds it's never too late to start. So far he has 35 participants and hopes that others will join in as the year progresses. Knighton said, "I think there is trust and belief in what we're doing is for the betterment of the community and betterment for themselves as well; and I think that's why they're taking part in this... financial challenge versus going to a bank or anywhere else."A member of St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Tonja Coleman, says she participated to save money for her and her daughter's future, for school. Coleman said, "It gave me accountability because I had to give it to someone."Coleman adds that she believes the ministry is trying to teach the members to not only live in the moment but to look toward the future.Pastor Knighton says he is hoping to not only inspire his community but other churches as well. Knighton said, "If this is a mechanism to help other churches do the same thing then that's what we want to do."