Pastor Pace passes out uniforms to Salem Striders Track Club

EDITORS NOTES: This was from and is worth reading. I'd go for a few more volunteers in the world like Pastor David Pace.  Keep up the good work!


SALEM - People’s humanity in this city has to be restored, says Pastor David Pace, of Harvest Time Worship Center, 200 Temple Ave.

“It has been stolen and has to be restored,’’ said the man who came here two years ago because God told him to.

“We start one person at a time. We sow a seed.

“God is going to put us where we need to be. This city belongs to God. This city is gong to be an example.

“They’re cursing Salem now, what we have and what we don’t have. Show me the fruit of hope. Teach me about hope. Teach me what has been stolen from me.’’

Pace said being a safe ministry won’t do it.

“You have to do things that are uncomfortable,’’ he said. “It has to be violently taken back. You have to run the streets with guns. You have to live it and tell the truth.’’

He said that at a ministerium meeting.

They asked, what do you suggest?

It’s called the Salem Striders Track Club.

“When we started with this track team, the kids wouldn’t even look me in the face,’’ said Pace. “They’d throw grass and do all sorts of things.’’

Pace had coached high school track in Maryland. He knew what it asked of individuals.

“This wasn’t high school in Salem,’’ he recalled. “This was day care. Ages 5 to 13.

“They weren’t used to following instructions, they were not used to stress, they were not used to stress and being able to accomplish something and being praised for it.’’

Thirty-one signed up.

Fifteen stayed.

They practiced three times a week.

“I missed one practice and at the next one, it was like flies to candy.’’ he said. “They were afraid I wasn’t coming back.’’

Pace started every practice with prayer and ended each one with prayer, and if he didn’t, they’d want to know why “and grab each other’s hands.’’

He said at the first meet, the kids were exceptional.

“They performed above their capabilities,’’ he said.

But the track club is just a start.

“Track is just an eye opener. They know we want to do more, other things like tutoring.’’


“I don’t have trouble getting computers,’’ he said. “Companies give them to you. All you have to do as a nonprofit is ask for them.’’

Pace said he can put 30 downstairs at his church.

“You have to make the vision real to people, ‘’ he said. “We’ll do this in September. We’ll go get the kids. That’s what we did with track.

“We went to the Salem block party, wherever kids congregate.’’

He likens it to linking a chain.

“I know the hopelessness,’’ he said. “I know the despair. We have to come out and show the truth, sow that seed.

“It’s all unconventional. It’s not secure, It’s not safe.’’

Pace recalled one runner on his Salem Striders who was heavy and didn’t work that hard at the beginning.

He was a grass thrower.

But, eventually, at a meet, Pace saw him stretching in preparation for his event.

The final heat paired this runner with another who he knew he couldn’t beat.

“I knew the other kid was going leave my runner in the dust,’’ said Pace. “But I prayed he would finish the race anyway.’’

And he did.

“And every body cheered for him,’’ he recalled, breaking down.

“He finished.

“He accomplished something.’’

And that’s what Pastor George Pace wants a whole city to do.