Church organizes benefit for burn victim family


Gospel Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Pine Bluff is holding a musical benefit program 6 p.m. Saturday to raise money for a family struck by a series of tragedies this year, including a Dec. 3 fire that injured the mother and daughter.

The program is for the family of Alesha (Brasfield) Neal. The church is at 1100 Oakwood Road.

The family lost their home, possessions and vehicles when their house burned down in an early morning fire earlier this month. Neal’s daughter Airmear Brasfield, 15, is in a semi-coma after almost drowning June 29, 2012. She was at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in Little Rock until November 2012, when she came home to be cared for around the clock by Neal and in-home nurses.

Airmear was at home when the fire broke out, and Neal went back inside the burning house to rescue her, unhooking her from machines and trying to protect her with her body. Both were burned — Neal severely — and treated at Children’s for an extended period of time.

Earlier in the year, while Airmear was still in the hospital, another of Neal’s daughters, Hylean Brasfield, 13, was also admitted to Children’s and died on Aug. 31.

Neal and her husband Jimmy Neal have two additional children, Joe Neal, 6, and Jessie Neal, 8.

Saturday’s musical program includes: Junior host pastor the Rev James Murry, devotional pastor elder John Bynum, soloist Patricia Watkins, worship leader the Rev. Melvin Ely, soloist Tony Walker, The New Mighty Supreme, Mighty True Lights, Heavenly Hearts, True Vessels and Sensational Soul Revival.