Black History Month Special Report: Compassionate Outreach Ministries

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 5:46 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Compassionate outreach ministries opened their doors in 1985 and their legacy still continues.

“That’s how we got started, with 17 people, and God blessed us more and more and more,” said Pastor Margaret Dennison.

Now with over 400 members, Pastor Dennison and members continue to honor and remember her late husband and pastor, Bishop Larry Dennison, who died in April 2018.

“He became a pastor, a minister first and then a pastor and by his preaching and his teaching and his reaching out brought in a great impact of people that were in need, that were hurting, and didn’t know which way to go,” explained Dennison. “But, the teaching that God gave Pastor Dennison led them here and led them to a better life.”

She explained that his impact goes so far that the city named a street after him.

“They named the street, the entire street ‘Bishop Larry James Dennison Street,” added Dennison.

Pastor Dennison makes sure she continues his legacy regardless of the pandemic.

The church offers prayer service, Sunday school and Sunday service on Facebook live and has hosted drive-in services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It continues to go on because Bishop Larry Dennison left the teaching and the preaching and the love in all of our hearts to go forth and continue to reach out to the community,” expressed Dennison.

Even after over 35 years of service, Compassionate Outreach Ministries continue the legacy of Bishop Larry Dennison with food drives, clothing giveaways and much more.

Compassionate Outreach Ministries also partners with Lake Forest Elementary School to provide back to school supplies for students.

“Bishop Dennison set a series of different programs in place for this ministry that reached out to the homeless, reached out the poor,” explained member, Elder Robert Woods.

Woods said the church is an important part of Black history.

“Black history is richly infused with the love of the church,” expressed Woods. “In the time of oppression it was the one place that black people could go to and receive solace and have hope that the future would be better, and it’s no different today.”

Visit their Facebook page for live services:


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