United Methodist Army Moves Into Tyler, Bringing Faith And Hard Work

KLTV 7 News' Layron Livingston caught up with a very unique group of soldiers who are keeping both the faith, and the community.

It's a different type of army - on a different type of battlefield.

"There are people that do want to make the world better, and help out...just to show that Christ is still out there and we're still fighting for him," says Jonathan Shorrey.

For the teenage campers/soldiers in the United Methodist Army, the plan of attack was clear and the mission, simple. "It's a lot of fun to come out here and help people that need it."

"They pay $199 to come here for a week, to get tar all over their hands and feet," says Henry Pruitt, the camp director.

This week, the infantry landed hard in Tyler, from brigades all over East Texas. Patching roofs, painting houses, pouring wheelchair ramps for the elderly, disabled, and underprivileged.

They're pouring into East Texas communities, but organizers say the work is only half of it.

"We're trying to be transformers in the lives of people in the community so that they can share the love of Christ with the people they come in contact with," says Eric Pugh, the program director.

It's something the people say they appreciate. "They're beautiful...you know we hear so many things, bad things, and we don't really hear about the good things children are doing...I'm so blessed," said Tommie Taylor, a resident who's having work done for her by the UM Army.

Hopefully, when the battle is over, the community and the people will be in much better shape than before.

The Army will have several teams at more than two dozen sites all over the city this week.

Layron Livingston, reporting. llivingston@kltv.com