Meridian man gains new perspective
WORLD CHANGER Since junior high school, Meridian resident Alan Clodfelter has been among the thousands of youths who participate in World Changers a volunteer ministry in which students repair homes in communities in the United States and around the world. This year, Clodfelter was a member of a summer staff team, that oversaw four work projects in Muncie, Ind., Pine Bluff, Ark., Jefferson City, Mo., and West Memphis, Ark. Photo by Paula Merritt / The Meridian Star
By Ida Brown / religion editor
August 10, 2002
On the same day the president left Mississippi after a one-day visit, a local youth leader returned home following a 10-week mission trip helping other communities.
Meridian native Alan Clodfelter landed at Jackson International Airport on Wednesday after traveling more than 3,000 miles as a summer staff member for the World Changers ministry.
And although impressed that the president visited his home state, Clodfelter was more amazed by his experiences with the summer youth mission program.
A new perspective
Clodfelter first became involved with World Changers while in junior high school.
Through the program, youth participate in one of more than 85 work projects in 62 cities in such places as Alaska, California and Puerto Rico. During the week, youth and adults paint, re-roof and perform other light construction on residential homes.
After four years as a participant, Clodfelter desired a more active role in the program.
Clodfelter was one of five members of the summer staff team, which included two members from Mississippi and one each from Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina. The group was assigned to the Central team, which oversaw projects in Muncie, Ind.; Pine Bluff, Ark.; Jefferson City, Mo.; and West Memphis, Ark.
In addition to overseeing work projects, each staffer was assigned a job. Clodfelter was responsible for preparing a video scrapbook of the week.
As a staff member, Clodfelter gained a new perspective of the volunteer ministry.
For Clodfelter, World Changers has given him spiritual guidance and provided him a way to serve God.
A member of First Baptist Church in Collinsville, he has long aspired to be a minister.
The 21-year-old cellular phone technician plans to take basic courses at a community college before transferring to a seminary.