Making a Difference…5th Annual Fellowship House Fundraiser

5th Annual Fellowship House Fund Raiser, Oct. 11.
 
The 5th Annual Fellowship House fundraising dinner is set for the East-West Bldg. at the James E. Ward Ag. Center, Thursday evening, Oct. 11 at 6:00 P.M. This is the only fundraiser the Fellowship House, a transitional house for men, located at 206 S. College, holds. Funds are needed to continue expansion to keep up with the growing demand in Wilson County/Lebanon. Judge David Earl Durham will be a brief keynote speaker. The dinner this year, is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Larry Locke, former board chairman and longtime supporter of the FH.
The dinner, consisting of fried catfish or chicken and all the trimmings is just $25 per plate and the total amount is tax deductible. “Last year, we had about 150-people attend.” Said FH board chairman, David Denney. “The dinner, our only fundraising event has continued to grow and is a huge success. But as Wilson County and Lebanon continue to explode in population, the demand for our services dictates that we expand. That takes money and this is our only way to raise funds. We are not subsidized or affiliated with an organization.

The FH is home for 10-men, most coming from incarceration or drug court and battling an addiction to drugs, alcohol or both. Once released from jail, most have nowhere to go and few belongings. If the return to a life on the streets, most will quickly end up back in jail.
The FH is more than just a transition house. At least 22 meetings are held each week and there is a daily Bible Study at 7:25 each morning. On Sunday, an extended Bible study called “Chicken Church” starts at 10:30. Everyone is welcome and a chicken dinner is served to all who attend, free of charge. All meetings are open to anyone, male or female, needing a meeting-anyone maintaining a clean, sober life, anyone in early recovery or anyone wanting to start.
“On the surface,” said board chairman, David Denney, “we provide a bed, clean living space, hot showers and the necessities of living. But actually, we provide a lot more. We encourage work on the spiritual side as well as the physical side. So many of the men coming in here have nothing. They are financially, physically and often spiritually bankrupt. Our job is to get them started on the road back-the right road. Without that, most return to the streets and continue to be a financial drain on the community and the county.”
“The coffee pot is always on.” Said Chuck Keel, director of operations. “We are open from 5:30-9:30, 365 days a year. Anyone is welcome to come as long as they behave. The men who live here, have rules they have to follow. They are given a guide-a structure that will, if they adhere to the rules, in many cases, lead them back to a real life, a clean, productive and sober life.”
David Denney, added, “We need money, “But our main focus is and should remain on serving the community by providing a safe, structured environment for men who have nowhere else to go but back to the streets and a life of addiction and usually crime.” Denney continued, “Sometime in the future, if we are to even come close to keeping pace with the demand, we are going to have to expand both our housing and our meeting facilities. That is a substantial, financial endeavor. We have no way of doing that without community support. Our board members are strictly volunteers. Nobody gets paid. All the money goes right into the expansion and upkeep of the FH.”
 
“The food and fellowship are great.” Promised Denny. “It would be hard to get a better meal and visit with old friends for that price anywhere.” He added. “The catfish/chicken dinner with all the trimmings is Thursday night, Oct. 11 at 6:00 P.M. in the East-West Bldg. at The Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon. Cost is just $25 a plate and it is tax deductible. Come join us for an hour or two of food and fellowship. We will treat you so many ways, you will have like some of them and we won’t bore you with long-winded speeches. For more information, call 615-449-3891.”

######FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 615/449-3891 or 615-449-4784#############

Dr James Morris preps for retirement

The year was 1978. Wilson County was home to just one hospital, McFarland Hospital located on the southeast side of town near the old Lebanon High School. University Medical Center (now Tennova Healthcare) would open in 1979. 1978 was also the year that a young physician fresh out of a surgical residency at Tampa General Hospital, moved back to the town where he grew up.
Nearly four decades later, General and Vascular Surgeon and Tennova Healthcare Chief Medical Officer Dr. James Morris will soon hang up his stethoscope and white coat in the same place his career started all those years ago as he sets his sites on retirement. It’s not something
he’s taking lightly, but he and his wife of 48 years, Norma are ready and excited for this next chapter. “We just got back from an 11-day trip in the Southwest, and now we’re working hard to plan our next trip. Of course, we will continue to have an interest in the hospital and
community. The only thing that will change is I won’t come to work every day.” Morris says with a laugh.
In 2015, Dr. Morris retired from his general surgery practice soon after being named Chief Medical Officer for Tennova Healthcare.
A native of Wilson County, Morris graduated from Castle Heights Military Academy in 1966. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Middle Tennessee State University in 1969 and his medical degree from University of Tennessee College of Medicine at Memphis in 1972. In
July 1973, he went to the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial Hospital for an intensive yearlong internship. He spent his general surgery residency at Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida College of Medicine from 1974-78.
Dr. Morris and his wife raised two children. Their daughter, Dr. Melanie S. Morris, is Associate Professor at UAB and Chief of General Surgery at the Birmingham VA Hospital in Alabama. Their son, Jay Morris, lives in Lebanon and works with Wilson Bank and Trust. They have three grandchildren.

Small town compassion, Big town ideas

 

Two types of people end up in Smith County. Those lucky enough to be born there and those smart enough to move there. Dr. Melanie Cripps is the latter and she is here to stay having put down deep roots in just a few short years.

Raised in Hermitage and a graduate of McGavock High School and TSU, Melanie fell into chiropractic medicine by accident. While in college she began experiencing daily headaches and was prescribed three medications to try to solve the problem. Even at her young age, she knew this was not the right answer. After much research, she decided to try chiropractic and within a few short visits, was pain-free.

It was clear to her, that medicine needs to try address the cause and not treat the symptoms. Her path was set.

After college, she headed to Atlanta to pursue her doctorate in Chiropractic at Life University. Following graduation, she moved home with a vision of something a little different. In a male-dominated profession, she wanted to build a practice with a feminine approach and Carthage was the perfect place to do that.

While in school, Melanie’s own mother was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins’s Lymphoma and she remembers that time as terrifying for herself and family, that includes her one sister Leticia. Her mother refused traditional therapies and instead chose a natural approach to diet and lifestyle changes. She beat cancer. “I was in awe at what the human body can do, under the right conditions.”

Today Melanie’s parents, Miguel and Magda Cruz, continue to reside in Hermitage while Melanie has not only established her business but her own family in Carthage. In 2017, Melanie married Assistant District Attorney Javin Cripps and became a bonus mom to Addie and Anna. Together they are helping Melanie’s vision take shape in the community they both love.

“I was raised by a strong, Puerto Rican family. We were raised to work hard, be kind and have faith. My parents taught us that no one can ever take away your education, so get as much of it as you can.”

In April of 2018, after a few years at another location in Carthage, Melanie put that education to good use in a larger facility. Her husband was a big help, moonlighting as both her architect and contractor. “I told him my dream and he made it a reality.”

Carthage Family Chiropractic offers a drug-free solution for dis-ease of the human body. They also offer massage therapy. “There is a stigma out there that chiropractic is about popping bones and that people have to keep coming back for life. That’s not true. Simply put, we are trained to find and correct spinal misalignment so that the brain and body can send messages through the spinal cord and nerves without interference. If you think of your brain and nerves as the electrical system in your house, we reset the breakers in the fuse box.”

Melanie believes that chiropractic is necessary now more than ever. “We help people without the use of drugs or surgery.” The opioid epidemic is at crisis levels in this country and Melanie knows, first hand, that many people often ease their symptoms with pills which can unknowingly create an addiction. “It’s happening all around us because we have become dependent upon just treating our symptoms, primarily the symptom of pain. Chiropractic starts at the root and addresses the cause. We help fix the problem causing the pain.”

While Carthage Family Chiropractic is Melanie’s vision, she prides herself on having a wonderful team that helps take care of her patients. “Our office is managed by Karen Williams and Tyra Mise. It’s rare to find a sisterhood with an office, where everyone gels together. I’m hanging on to that as long as I can!” As an added bonus, patients often meet Gus, a giant German Shepherd that graces the office with his presence.

Melanie truly believes that health in the future is going to depend on our food source. “We, as Americans, need to invest in the quality of our food and what we’re ingesting on a daily basis. When we improve how we eat, drink and move, our health will too. We are in crisis as a society because we eat poorly, have stress on our nervous systems, develop chronic illnesses and depend on drugs to take care of us. Instead, we need quality nutrients, sunlight, clean water, and fresh air.”