- First Christian Church of Anniston, AL, counts its members in double digits, and yet the church is determined to make a difference in their community. After a one-year “sabbatical” from mission projects they have found their niche.
Pastor Laura Hutchinson says, “As a little church, we have the resources to do one mission project really well. We have one soup kitchen, The Soup Bowl, in our county. They are only able to provide one meal a day for five days a week. That means that on Saturday and Sundays people go hungry.”
The church approached The Soup Bowl with the idea of partnering with them to provide dinner the third Sunday of every month after church. The congregation goes into the Soup Bowl’s facility with their own food then cook and serve the meal on site. A few students from Jackson State University have also volunteered to help out.
Hutchinson said, “After months of faithfully praying and studying scripture, God led the congregation, almost unanimously, to choose this outreach ministry to be our collective project. The fact that we are doing God’s will is evident in the ease with which this ministry came together and the excitement it’s creating in our church and community.”
The church members plan to get the process streamlined so other churches in the area who want to help can learn from FCC’s experience. The goal is to have enough churches working together to cover both Saturdays and Sundays by the end of the year.
The project includes people of all ages and abilities. Older adults can sit by the door to welcome and count the people coming in or visit with the guests while they eat or have prayer with the guests if they would like. The church plans to incorporate the children into the project making sandwiches to send home with the guests.
The community is behind FCC. They have received donations and enthusiastic support from area businesses. Local restaurants are providing prepared dishes as well.