The Press-Dispatch

March 25, 2020

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The Press-Dispatch Local Wednesday, March 25, 2020 A- 5 Social Security Matters Using IRA instead of claiming Social Security SAME DAY SERVICE • Complete plastic lab on premises • Quality eyewear by Karen Memering, Optician • Professional eyecare by Dr. Steve Gregory • Most insurance plans accepted WE FILL ALL DOCTOR'S PRESCRIPTIONS Complete Contact Lens Care & Service *In most cases **Some restrictions apply. Call for details. 812-254-6594 Corner of Hwy. 50 & 57, Washington, IN VALLEY OPTICAL 812-254-6594 LOUIE CAMPBELL Sales Professional CALL OR TEXT 812-899-6267 @LouieYourCarGuy HWY. 64 W. • PRINCETON "Quite Simply, A Better Experience!" Looking for a Great Deal On Your Next Vehicle? John L. Lewis Day Dinner Celebration, scheduled for April 1, has been canceled and will reschedule at a later date. EVENT CANCELED Dear Rusty: I am cur- rently unemployed and drawing funds from my IR A. I am 62 years old. My finan- cial adviser in- structed me to not take So- cial Security because once I do that the percentage of increase would stop. He said to wait until the benefits in- creased to the point where I could then take Social Secu- rity and leave my IR A alone. Does that seem right? Also, I have applied for SS Disabili- ty benefits and have been re- jected, but I am currently ap- pealing that decision. Is my next step a lawyer? If so do you have any recommenda- tions? Signed: Befuddled. Dear Befuddled: If you take your Social Security (SS) benefits at age 62, your payment will be cut by about 27.5 percent from what it would be at your full re- tirement age of 66 ½. If you wait, your SS pay- ment when you claim it will have grown for each month you de- lay. You only get 100 percent of the SS benefit you have earned from a life- time of working when you reach your full retirement age (FR A). The rate of ben- efit growth before you reach your FR A is a bit more than 6 percent for each year you wait, so I expect that your financial advisor compared that guaranteed growth to the interest you are receiv- ing on your IR A and con- cluded that waiting to claim a higher SS benefit for the rest of your life is a better deal. Provided you are in good health, that seems like a prudent suggestion. And just so you are aware, if you delay claiming SS be- yond your FR A, you'll earn an additional 8 percent for each year you further delay, up to age 70 when your SS benefit would be about 75 percent more than it will be if you take it now. Regarding your disabil- ity appeal, I cannot recom- mend a specific attorney, but I suggest you seek one who specializes in Social Se- curity Disability Insurance (SSDI) claims. SSDI attor- neys must adhere to Feder- al law and they are limited in what they can charge you. Usually that limit is 25 per- cent of whatever back SSDI benefits they can secure for you (paid from those back benefits) to a maximum of $ 6,000. There should be no charge for an initial consul- tation, and you shouldn't be required to pay anything un- less they win your case for you. The easiest way to find someone to assist you is to do a search for "SSDI at- torneys near me" and then do some initial research on your search results before selecting. You'll be able to judge the strength of your SSDI appeal by whether the SSDI attorney accepts your case – they'll only accept your case if they believe they can win and be compensat- ed for their efforts. Only you can judge if engaging an at- torney is a wise idea at this point. You still have multiple SSDI appeal levels available to you, and an SSDI attorney can be engaged at any point you choose. Farm Bureau now accepting 2020 student scholarship applications Pike County Farm Bu- reau, Inc. is now accept- ing student scholarship applications for higher ed- ucation for the 2020 -2021 school year. To be eligi- ble, the student, parent, or legal guardian must be a member of the Pike Coun- ty Farm Bureau. Applicant must plan to pursue post high school education in- cluding two-year trade schools, community col- lege, or four-year college. Any major may apply, pref- erence will be given to ap- plicants pursuing a degree related to Agriculture. Ag- riculture related majors might include areas such as nutrition, Ag research, Ag Econ, Veterinary Science, Ag Marketing, and other production Ag courses. Interested students may pick up application at the Pike County Farm Bureau Inc. office at 201 E. Main Street. Call 812-354-8488 for more information. You may also be sent one by contacting Judith Gumbel 812-766 -0134. Pike County Farm Bu- reau will select one schol- arship winner and that student will be awarded $1,000 toward their future education. The applica- tion asks students to detail their educational success- es and answer several ques- tions about their future ed- ucational plans and career goals. Applications are due on or before May 1, 2020. Mail or hand deliver your com- pleted application to the Pike County Farm Bureau office, 201 E. Main St, Pe- tersburg, IN 47567 The scholarship winner will be announced by June 1, 2020. MARRIAGE LICENSES Desiree Elizabeth McCraney, 23, of 2534 E. SR 56, Petersburg, daughter of Benjamin McCraney and Tonya Ingle, to Misty Dawn Fulps, 22, of 2534 E. SR 56, Petersburg, daughter of Timothy and Wendy Fulps. Jeffrey W. Knight, 45, of 501 E. Locust St., Peters- burg, son of William H. and Carla D. Knight, to Charity A. Farmer, 44, of 501 E. Locust St., Petersburg, daugh- ter of Robert and Brenda Russell. READER GUIDE Subscriptions: Change of address: subscribers changing addresses will please give old address as well as new one along with phone number. We cannot guarantee prompt change unless this is done. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Press-Dispatch., P.O. Box 68, Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 or e-mail to subscribe@ Subscription rates: One year: $31 for Pike County and all 475/476 zip codes; $34 in the state of Indiana; $51 elsewhere in the USA. Paid in advance. Subscriptions taken after noon on Friday will not receive a paper until the second edition after their subscription date. About us: Andy Heuring and John B. Heuring, Publishers Andy Heuring, Editor John B. Heuring, Adv. Mgr. Eric Gogel, Production Mgr. Monica Sinclair, Office Mgr. Cindy Petty, Adv. Sales Pam Lemond, Adv. Sales Kate Jones, Adv. Designer • • • Published every Wednesday by the Pike County Publishing Co. Phone: 812-354-8500 820 E. Poplar St., P.O. Box 68, Petersburg, IN 47567-0068 • • • Entered in the Post Office in Petersburg, Indiana for transmission through the mails as Periodical Mail, postage paid at Petersburg, Indiana – published weekly. (USPS 205-620) Contact us: Phone: ...................................................................812-354-8500 Fax: ....................................................................... 812-354-2014 E-mail: Andy Heuring, Editor Advertising General News Sports Subscription Services THE POWERS OF PRAYER Pastor Jeff Powers opens Freedom and Fire Church By Andy Heuring The Freedom and Fire Church in Winslow is a min- istry described as a message of faith and believing God is capable of doing all things. Pastor Jeff Powers and his wife, Tammy, started the church in the former Curtis Funeral Home on Walnut and Jefferson sts. in Winslow. Powers had a long road to the ministry. "Sometimes the Lord has to hit you up upside the head to get you to listen. That's pretty much what hit took for me," said Powers. He explained it took 20 to 25 years for him to pay at- tention to God's message for him. Powers grew up in New- ton, Ill., and first went to church because a really cute girl asked him to go when he was in the sixth or seventh grade. She invit- ed him to a United Method- ist Church. As a freshman in high school, he accept- ed Christ. "Even though I knew Christ, and I accept- ed him and knew he died for my sins, I didn't live the life that showed that change," said Powers. He graduated from high school in 1984. "When I decided in the Fall of 1983 what I was going to do, I felt I had two options. I felt like I could be a pastor or funeral director. I chose to be a fu- neral director." So he went off to college at Southern Illinois Univer- sity. "It is the biggest party school in Illinois and third biggest party school in the country." It was not a good influence for Powers. "Very quickly I got turned on to alcohol and for the next 25 years, I spent more time partying than anything else. It was not the choice God wanted me to do. Only took 20 to 25 years for me to figure out I was running from God instead of what he wanted me to do." In 2000, when he started his own business, he had another experience with God and decided to be bap- tized. "I was baptized in a Christian Church and real- ly felt like I had given my- self to God completely. But to me, I didn't live that life, that was a changed life, Christ-focused life until Jan- uary 10, 2010, when I quit drinking." He said that came about when he and his wife went on a vacation with another couple in 2009. A fter the vacation, the friend talk- ed to Tammy and told her how much Jeff was drink- ing. "I had been hiding it from her." "At that point, I really on- ly had one option. I guess I had two. I could have kept drinking or give my life completely to God." He chose to give his life to Je- sus. "That was the last day I had a drink," said Powers. A year later, he started school "for what I was prob- ably supposed to go school for," said Powers. A fter completing his de- gree, he accepted a pas- torate at a small church near Newton for about 30 months. But Powers said he felt God was calling him to be in full-time ministry. So he started sending out resumes. "I sent them all over Illinois, Kentucky, Ten- nessee and Indiana. I wasn't getting any responses. So I started calling some of the places I thought I had sent resumes to." One of those places was the Christian Church in Petersburg. He said they had not received his resume, but within a couple of weeks, they had hired him. He pastored there for about two-and-a-half years and they parted ways. "We had felt for a long time God was actually call- ing us to Winslow. We didn't know who or where we were going to do it. But we felt we were to start a church here," said Powers. His life and journey to the Freedom and Fire Church in Winslow includes several examples of having faith in God, a God that is still able to deliver whatever the sit- uation. When he finally decided to go back to college to be a pastor, he had a big hurdle. He and Tammy had want- ed a log home for years and had built their dream home. They found out while it might have been their dream, it often was not other people's dreams. He said banks won't typi- cally give loans for existing log homes. "We didn't have enough money to have a log home and for me to go back to school. So we prayed we would get a buyer who didn't need a loan." God delivered. "We sold it ourselves without a real- tor in just three months, to a person who would pay cash for it and paid us what we wanted," said Powers. Their move to Winslow was even a greater step of faith and delivery. Pow- er said he was doing other work between pastorates when a client told him about Curtis Funeral Home going up for auction. He and Tam- my started praying about it and God started speaking to them. God was telling them this was the place. However, they didn't have the money to buy it. But God kept telling them he would take care of them. So they went to the auction on a Saturday and bid on it. "We were $11,000 short," said Powers, explaining their bid was $11,000 more than they had. Over the weekend, a do- nor came to them and gave them the money. "We were able to buy it free and clear," said Powers. So they turned the for- mer funeral home into their home and a church. "The biggest thing God was calling us to do was to teach faith and to believe he was capable to do all things. Our ministry is all about be- lieving in a God who is still more than capable of pro- viding for his people," said Powers. "We have totally remod- eled this into a home and a church, and we haven't bor- rowed a dime." On their first Sunday in August 2018, they had nine people in attendance. "And five of them were my fami- ly," said Powers. "Because we believed God was going to provide, he has provided immeasur- ably and abundantly more," said Powers. He said they came up with the name of Freedom and Fire through a collabo- ration of him and his wife. "To be honest, my wife had been given the word fire from God. And he had given me freedom. I believe it was from the freedom I received when I quit drink- ing. I want everyone to have that. You can have it. Only if you have Jesus Christ can you have the freedom from all things. Once you receive that freedom, then you be- come on fire for God," said Powers. Powers said he doesn't re- ally keep track of numbers, but they typically have an at- tendance in the 20s or 30s. He said he doesn't believe he and Tammy were called to create a mega church. He said they feel like their min- istry is to preach and teach faith, and when they get to a point, they can branch out and start another church. "Jesus taught the disci- ples and sent them out two by two to preach the word. I believe that is what we are called to do." "It goes back to faith. Our church is very much faith based. In I Peter 2:24, it says, 'by His stripes we are healed.' Our church very much believes in not only that passage but all kinds of passages. In Matthew 2, it says, 'because of the stripes, He took all of our infirmities. He took everything. Sick- ness wise, nothing is from God. Jesus took everything and he defeated the devil. How can we have anything if we have Jesus? Jesus al- ready took it," said Powers. "So, that is what we preach, faith to believe and that God is still a healer to- day." Freedom and Fire pastor Jeff Powers and his family in a Jeep. Powers is in the driver's seat, his wife, Tammy, in the front passenger seat and daughters, Tara, Halley and Alyx, from left to right in the back. Jeff and Tammy started Freedom and Fire Church in Winslow in August 2018.

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