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Providence United Methodist Church
Providence UMC Races to Beat Cancer
Elizabeth Wilder and Carmelita Hartley look over the course for the Catfish Chase which will begin and end at Providence UMC.
Elizabeth Wilder and Carmelita Hartley look over the course for the Catfish Chase which will begin and end at Providence UMC.
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Providence UMC Races to Beat Cancer

Posted by: Chuck Dean on Fri, Mar 12, 2010

Elizabeth Wilder and Carmelita Hartley look over the course for the Catfish Chase which will begin and end at Providence UMC.


ProvidenceUMC Races to Beat Cancer


Church Plans Catfish Chase 5K Run/Walk, 1 Mile

 Fun Run, to Raise Funds for American Cancer Society



 SPANISH FORT, Ala. – One look at the prayer list at Providence United Methodist Church shows why beating cancer is a ministry of this congregation. Of the 37 names listed, 21 are members, friends, family or co-workers who are battling cancer.

 There is another list, not printed in the church bulletin, but imprinted on the hearts of the congregation. It is the list of those whose battle is over and who, like the Apostle Paul writing in 2nd Timothy, have “fought the good fight…finished the race…kept the faith.”

 Now the community can join in the race to find a cure and keep the faith, at the first Providence UMC Catfish Chase 5k Run/Walk and one mile fun run Saturday, April 24. The event is a fundraiser for the church’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life team.

 “The disease of cancer has profoundly touched the lives of our congregation.  Either someone is battling cancer, has lost a loved one or friend to cancer, or knows someone whom cancer has affected.  The Catfish Chase is just one way Providence can help make a difference in the search for a cure for this evil disease,” said the Rev. Bob Sweet. 

 Race organizers named the event the “Catfish Chase” in recognition of the church’s first meeting place, David’s Catfish House in Spanish Fort, a catfish restaurant. The 330-member church now meets in a new building at 32200 Jimmy Faulkner Drive in Spanish Fort, located between Spanish Fort High School and Middle School.

 The out-and-back 5k certified course will start at the church and proceed north on Jimmy Faulkner Drive. The family-friendly event includes a 1-Mile Fun Run.

 Entry forms may be downloaded at or are available at the church weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and Sundays from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Entry fees for those who pre-register for the 5k run by April 16 are $18 for those over age 12, and $12 for ages 12 and under and include a Catfish Run t-shirt. Discounted pre-registration not including t-shirts are $15 for over age 12, and $10 for ages 12 and under. 

 Registration will also be taken the day of the race from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. at the church and will be $20 for ages 12 and up, including a t-shirt while supplies last, and $15 for those 12 and under. Race day registration for those not wanting a t-shirt will be $18 for those over age 12 and $8 for those age 12 and under.

 Police, firefighters and active military personnel may participate for free.

 The 1-mile Fun Run is free to runners registered for the 5K, and $7 for all others.

 Pizza, fruit and beverages will be available after the race.

 Carmelita Hartley, one of the Catfish Chase organizers, said the enthusiasm with which Providence UMC has organized and embraced Relay for Life activities is “amazing.”

 “Since our first year of participation – two years ago – the church has raised over $25,000 for the American Cancer Society. Almost everyone has been touched by cancer, and it is this personal connection with this dreadful disease that encourages the members in their quest to do everything possible to help find a cure. I lost my 28-year-old brother to a rare form of cancer years ago; that cancer now is much more treatable and even curable, thanks to research and the subsequent development of new drugs and treatments,” Hartley said.  

 “We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy a nice run while helping work toward the goal of a cancer-free world,” she added.

 For more information, visit the Providence UMC website at or call the church office at (251) 626-2510.

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