The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

December 19, 2009

Rossville minister guides youth

ROSSVILLE — This is one of eight profiles of area residents who have been chosen as Christmas “angels” for their service to the community.

Angels come in various forms. Some are small, some large. There are female and male angels, young and old, black and white. Some are familiar, while others are new to us.

This angel comes in the form of a youth minister at Rossville Church of Christ by the name of Andy Thomas.

He was nominated by Lynn Kinnett of Rossville, who has known Thomas since they were preschoolers in Sunday school class.

Thomas is a “great role model for everyone,” she said. He has touched the hearts of numerous youth in the Rossville area. Some could have easily chosen the destructive path of drugs and alcohol if not for Thomas showing them there is a better path, she said.

“His influence has helped numerous kids excel in life,” Kinnett said.

“Andy is the most kind and outgoing person I know,” she said. “He does not turn his back on anyone and no one is a stranger to him. Andy is the most selfless person I know. … He is there during the good times and the bad, and he is a person you are lucky to know.”

Kinnett said Thomas was a Secret Santa for some families who were struggling financially.

Thomas said it is “cool that someone was thinking about him.”

He does not expect anything in return for the things he does. He helps out in many ways, such as serving as youth minister, junior high track coach, a tutor and a “minister to the community.”

He helps people with drug and alcohol problems, and he also organized a homework club, which meets 7:30–8:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Rossville-Alvin Grade School library. Students who are struggling or just need help with their home-work are welcome.

Thomas and a couple of youths even delivered meals to some shut-ins. Thomas also said his house is always open to the kids.

He said it is “good to be back home and involved with my family and the community.”

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