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Grassroots 10 Commandments Project Goes Nationwide After Spurring Faith in Mississippi Youth

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SHELBY, Mississippi – The Ten Commandments serve as the bedrock of our laws and remain as important today as they were thousands of years ago.
They've also long been a key part of Bible education. One small-town church in Mississippi is taking that to a new level by helping children nationwide learn these building blocks of faith through the 10 Commandments Project. 
Community Chapel Assembly of God in Shelby, MS is in one of the poorest regions in the country.  Pastors Ruthie and Curtis Hooper see the area suffering from a spirit of depression, both socially and economically. Less than 2,000 people live in Shelby with a median income just over $14,000. No matter its size or economic hardships, it's the people here who show what it means to invest in the lives of children – raising up faith leaders for tomorrow. 

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Community Chapel sees its mission as being a soul-winning church. That's why Pastor Ruthie Hooper focuses on feeding the souls and bodies of neighborhood children; most of whom walk here for a guaranteed meal. 

"They (the children) come to me and tell me they don't eat breakfast," said Pastor Ruthie Hooper. "They would take a sandwich back home and split it up into fours so they could divide it up with the other siblings." 

Her husband, Pastor Curtis tells CBN News the jobs left the area years ago. The town doesn't even have "a decent grocery store." 

"The young people say there's nothing to keep them here," Pastor Curtis Hooper said. "Once they graduate high school, they go to college and do not come back." 

Given the reality, it's important for the Hoopers to meet the needs of the young people spiritually so they can take that with them through life wherever they go. For Community Chapel, that happens through the 10 Commandments Project. 

What started as a grassroots project in Mississippi now serves churches nationally through a six-week course available for church communities and individual households. It focuses on fundamentals, which include memorizing the 10 Commandments. 

"If they just simply have their child memorize the 10 Commandments, they can call American Family Radio – tell them their child's size and give their mailing address; and they'll mail them a free T-shirt with the 10 Commandments on the back," said Pastor Joseph Parker, director of outreach for the American Family Association. 

Pastor Parker, who started the project with his wife, explains why the lesson is simple, yet profound. 

"Jesus is to be our number one priority in life – we should find time to put the priority of God in our children's lives if we don't find time to do anything else," said Pastor Parker.

slider img 2As for Community Chapel, Pastor Hooper prays for the parents of Shelby. 

"One of the greatest things we need now is the parents involved with their kids, to see them come to church with them," said Pastor Hooper. "So, they can learn the Word themselves."

As ministries adopt the project and begin planting seeds of faith, they hope to see children like these grow into faith leaders throughout the state and beyond. 

"We see so many families and children – teenagers, that are lost," said Pastor Ruthie. "And they don't know the way – the only thing that's going to help them is a revival."

Check Out the Prizes for The Ten Commandments Speech Project - Submissions Are Due by April 26, 2023


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About The Author


Brody Carter has been reporting and anchoring at CBN since 2021. In his time at CBN, he has found his stride in national news, including political and foreign affairs, extreme weather, and in-depth faith-based reporting. Brody frequently covers news for The 700 Club, Faith Nation, Newswatch, and Christian World News. Brody is passionate about news and displays standout dedication and work ethic in the field. Since starting at CBN, Brody has not only grown as a journalist but also as a person of faith thanks to close family, friends, co-workers, and the church body in Virginia Beach. He