Gospel Lighthouse holds sixth annual Victims Advocate Day

By Rocky Nimmons

PICKENS — The Gospel Lighthouse Prison Evangelism ministry held its sixth annual Victims Advocate Day program on Saturday.

The ministry helps children and women who have been involved in abusive homes, children who have been taken from meth lab homes and children who have been sexually abused. The ministry also provided more than 100 teddy bears for the Pickens Police Department this year.

This year’s service was dedicated to the memory of Jessica Parnell Tronetti, who was a victim of violent crime and lost her life earlier this year. Her family was in attendance as the ministry’s founder Dr. J.W. Stansell announced that the annual drive to provide teddy bears to the Pickens Police Department has been renamed “Jessica’s Sunshine Fund.”
The teddy bears are used by the PPD to give to children during times of trauma and traffic stops.

Stansell said that Jessica loved helping others and loved animals and children, and this was a special way to honor her memory.

The service was hosted by Graceway Baptist Church and was followed by a spaghetti lunch.

The guest speaker at the event was Sen. Larry Martin. Martin spoke about the importance of what the ministry does for the victims of crime as well as their evangelistic work at prisons across the state. Also speaking at the service were representatives from Pickens County Rape Crisis and Helping Hands of Clemson.

During the service Tom Garrett was honored as Humanitarian of the Year. Pickens Police Chief Rodney Gregory and Assistant Chief Travis Riggs were recognized as officers of the year. The ministry also presented honorary doctorate degrees of divinity to Graceway Baptist Pastor Timothy Lee and to GLPE board members the Rev. Gene Hutchins and the Rev. Daniel Stansell.