The Duncan Banner

June 14, 2013

It’s gas buy down time again in Marlow

Rebeka Miller
The Duncan Banner

RUSH SPRINGS — Each summer, more than 200 people line up to get some reduced fuel for their vehicles.

First Baptist Church of Marlow has hosted the Gas Buy Down which is now in its fourth year and will happen Saturday.

It will be from 8 a.m. to noon at the Hop and Sack convenience store, located just across from FBC on Broadway St. For a $1 per gallon, each person could get up to 20 gallons of gas while the church pays the difference.

“The one thing we learn is how difficult life is for a lot of people, they’re just in need,” said Joe Ligon, pastor of Marlow FBC. “People talk about how surprised they are that we would do this.”

There are no strings attached to the gas offering. Those involved in the project are out there to serve, Ligon said. It takes several people helping to get so many customers through the line quickly and efficiently.

Gas only goes directly into vehicles, and not into gas cans or containers. Additionally, to keep the process simple and the line moving quickly, only Regular Unleaded gas is available through the buy down.

As each car pulls up to the gas pump, volunteers wash the windshield and pump the gas. Should the driver or vehicle occupants have any prayer needs, they are encouraged to share them and the volunteers will even pray with them.

“We have a great group of volunteers already signed up to help us and they don’t even have to be from the church,” Ligon said. “Our church has a lot of ownership in the process and I’m glad they’re doing it.”

Hop and Sack proprietors Larry and Brenda Sessums allow the church to take over several of the pumps for those few hours and often do more to help the mission out.

Early Saturday morning, the line up begins on 2nd Street and grows quickly as  daylight approaches. Ligon said a few people even spend most of the night in their cars waiting for morning.

Gas prices have soared high in recent weeks, up to $3.99 a gallon. For someone filling a 20-gallon tank, that cost adds up to almost $80. Some relief has come by prices lowering back down to about $3.59 a gallon, a tiny break for those being hit by hard economical times.