Metrolina feeds multitudes at Thanksgiving
    November 20 2009 by Norman Jameson, BR Editor

    Inspired by a similar project by First Baptist Church, Charlotte, last year, 22 churches in Metrolina Baptist Association will be “feeding the multitude” Nov. 22-24.

    Other churches in the state have picked up on First Baptist’s 2008 “Feeding the 5,000” event in which it distributed 1,000 boxes of food that each would provide a Thanksgiving feast for a family of five following a worship service and gospel presentation at the church. Metrolina is taking it citywide.

    Bob Lowman, Metrolina director/missionary, is a member of First Baptist Charlotte and immediately following the service last year began planning for a 2009 event among the associations 113 churches.

    Twenty-two churches committed to participate and will distribute from eight sites an estimated 2,700 boxes of food that each contains enough rice, yams, beans and a canned ham to feed five. Each box will also contain a paperback copy of the New Testament.

    Two of the churches will provide a meal after the worship service, before distributing the boxes of food.

    Contributed photo

    Canned hams, along with yams, rice, and beans, were put in boxes in 2008's Feed the 5,000 effort by First Baptist Church, Charlotte. This year the Metrolina Baptist Association has expanded the effort.

    Following a meeting in Cary Nov. 16 Lowman thought of including a New Testament and he stopped at every LifeWay Christian Bookstore between Cary and Raleigh and bought each of the 1,600 copies available.

    The eight distribution points are: First Baptist, Nations Ford Community, First Baptist, Matthews; University Hills, Holly Hunter, Westmoreland, East and New Hope.

    Each church distributed flyers advertising the event to apartment complexes, trailer parks and other places with a likelihood of finding residents who need the help.

    The best news to Lowman, associational director/missionary for three years, is that four churches are reviving or starting food pantry ministries as a result of the initiative.

    “My hope when we started promoting this event was that churches would come forward to say, ‘We want to do that, but believe we should start doing it year round,’” Lowman said. “So three or four churches have started food pantries. And one that was operating a pantry, but being overrun by need, is getting other churches to help now in a cooperative effort.”

    Metrolina Association has undergone many difficult days in the past few years, but Lowman, director/missionary for three years, said the “Feeding the Multitudes in Metrolina” project has “helped unite us in ways we haven’t been united in years.”

    “The practical reason for doing this is that feeding ministries in Charlotte are being significantly used because so many families are coming asking for food and resources,” Lowman said. “We believe it’s our responsibility as a church to feed the hungry, so we’re doing that.”

    The trend, he said, has been for churches to pass off their feeding mission to other organizations. “When people come to the church for help, it is good if they help from the church,” he said.

    He said the worship service before food distribution and the New Testament in each box means the churches will be feeding “body and spirit.”

    Lowman hopes to see the vision double to feed 25,000 people next year.

    11/20/2009 9:02:00 AM by Norman Jameson, BR Editor | with 0 comments

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