Macon County Chronicle

Putting a Face on Acts of Goodwill

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Calvary Baptist Church had a Summer Food Ministry that was a wonderful accomplishment for the members of the church.

“For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”

You’d be surprised at what you can make happen if you just set your mind to it. In an effort to provide food for area children and the elderly, Calvary Baptist Church had a Summer Food Ministry that was a blessing to everyone and a wonderful accomplishment for the members of the congregation. With the kids ready to start back to school, Calvary Baptist Church will give away a “truck load” of groceries on August 15, at 10:00 a.m. in the parking lot of the church located at 6851 Hwy. 52 East in Lafayette.

When I sat down with Calvary Pastor Johnny Beaver last Saturday afternoon to talk about the Food Ministry, he smiled broadly and his voice softened when he began to tell me the story.

“This past year we started a Wednesday night program for kids, just as a part of our regular service at the church,” Johnny said. “Some of our lady church members noticed that some of the kids seemed to be hungry and they wondered what these children’s lives would be like when they got out of school for the summer and lost at least one guaranteed good meal.”

According to Johnny the women were afraid that the kids would be doing without during summer vacation, so they began making plans for the Summer Food Ministry, to make sure that area children would have a good meal.

“It wasn’t something that we had budgeted for earlier in the year, so one of the ladies, Betty Lipps, was talking about it to her friends in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the Rolling Hills Baptist Church, where she belonged before moving to Tennessee this past year,” continued the pastor. “In what can only be described as amazing generosity, the church sent us their $1,300 Vacation Bible School offering in June to fund our Summer Food Ministry and they also sent us alot of clothes to give away.”

Pastor Beaver said they started in June and every day Monday thru Friday, members would meet up at the church about 10:30 a.m. and prepare the meals, then pack them up and take them out to four different areas and began knocking on doors. “They knocked on doors in the trailer parks and low income housing projects and before the summer food ministry was over last Friday, they were feeding hot meals to almost 80 kids and senior adults,” said Johnny.

“This is one of the poorest counties in Middle Tennessee and Calvary Baptist Church wants to do something about it,” continued Pastor Beaver. “We had people as young as two years old to 80 years old to come out and help with the meals, fill up bags and deliver the food each day. It was amazing to see.”

“What we are doing now is preparing for Saturday, August 8, when we are hosting a Spa Day beginning at 10:00 a.m. at the church for the kids we have been ministering too,” he said, “and we will also be giving away the clothes we have been collecting. We are going to do haircuts and nails, and we will also have some school supplies for the kids as well.”

Johnny told me that he has become convinced that God wants Calvary Baptist Church to do more for the low income families and to help them in any way that they can and that’s why he is so excited about Saturday, August 15, when the truck load of groceries will be given away in the parking lot of the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. “We had to raise $2,500 for the truck and to pay the driver, and the food is coming from 2nd Harvest Food Bank. It will be perishable and nonperishable food and our goal is to bless as many people as we can.”

Pastor Beaver told me they are not going to screen people and the richest man in Macon County can come and get a bag of groceries on Saturday, August 15, if he wants one. “We want the community to come out and get a bag of groceries, we just want to help people that need it. I’m praying that we give away everything on the truck. I am so excited and the entire congregation at the church is excited as well. I want to make sure that Calvary Baptist Church does our part, so remember to come by on August 15.”