Citizens of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas were blessed for Thanksgiving.
Jarvis Smith, Pastor, Second Baptist Church, Park Street, Helena-West Helena
We at the Second Baptist Church of Park Street in Helena-West Helena are thankful and honored to report the great things that happened at our one-night Thanksgiving revival on November 20, 2022.
We were overwhelmed with one of the best one-day revivals ever in the history of our church. The attendance was amazing, people gathered outside and filled the inside. Our worship was led by national recording artists from Chicago, Illinois, God’s Posse. Pastor Tad Rogers delivered a powerful message. 16 people rededicated themselves and one person was saved! We gave away hundreds and hundreds of free turkeys on a first come first served basis. I felt we feasted in the LORD greatly.
We are humbled and extremely grateful for our partnerships with Brother Tad Rogers of First Baptist in Mountain Home and Geyer Springs First Baptist in Little Rock and Pastor Dave Hughey. Their consistent and loving presence by way of word and deed affords us tremendous physical and spiritual impact. Let us hurry to say how we must always give GOD the praise for HE is the ONE who does the good work!!!
Steve Ellis, Executive Pastor of Missions and Church Planting, FBC Rogers
First Baptist Church in Rogers has been engaged in distributing Thanksgiving meals for several years, and nearly 32,000 meals have been provided. Volunteers distribute flyers around Rogers in the ten days leading up to Thanksgiving. Additional volunteers man the call center where members of the Rogers community call to request meals.
Hundreds of pies were delivered to the church on Wednesday before Thanksgiving where many of our senior adult women were involved in slicing and packing for the next day.
There were close to 450 volunteers involved in delivering meals on Thanksgiving Day. Volunteers came as early as 4:30 AM to begin cooking portions of the meal and/or keep the food warm on grills and smokers. Meanwhile, volunteers in the kitchen prepared mashed potatoes, gravy, and dressing. There were jobs for all ages as the children carried the filled clamshells to tables where the boxes would be packed.
Individuals and families arrived on Thanksgiving morning where they stood in line and waited to receive the name and address of the people receiving meals. They were then given a box or two based on the numbers of meals and proceeded to stations where meals were packed in the boxes along with a New Testament, information about the church, and an invitation to the church’s Christmas programs.
We had about 135 meals remaining towards the end, so we distributed meals to the Rogers Police Department and three fire stations. We are extremely thankful to be able to serve our community and provide a nutritious Thanksgiving meal to families in need. Approximately 2,400 meals were served.
Cortney Gaines, First Baptist Church, Malvern
A while ago, our pastor asked us during service, “If our church were to close our doors, would the surrounding community even notice?” At the time, sadly, our community probably would not have noticed or cared. One way we are changing that mentality is by going into our community and serving them where they are by meeting physical needs as well as spiritual.
On November 18, our Hands and Feet Ministry partnered with a local homeless outreach called Finding Hope to minister to the ever-growing homeless population in Malvern. We were able to offer transportation to and from our facility, hot showers, a hot meal, fresh clean clothes, haircuts, and sweet fellowship. It is extremely hard to gain the trust of this community and we are so thankful to have been able to partner with a mission already familiar with this community and where they live. It really helped them trust us a little bit and we were so excited to minister to the twelve men and women that participated.
We are looking forward to offering these services again in January and optimistic the response is even greater. Watching the interaction between our church members and the local homeless was so encouraging and a tremendous blessing. At the end of the day, people just want to be acknowledged as people and loved regardless of their living situation. Matthew 25:40 reminds us “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Jesus calls us all to love our neighbor as ourselves, all our neighbors, not just the ones that look like or live like us. FBC Malvern is definitely loving her neighbors and extending the hand of Jesus to her community. It is such an extraordinary privilege to be a part of such a loving body.
Churches and Businesses Partner Together to Provide Food Boxes for 400 Families in Jacksonville
Jacksonville, AR – On the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving, volunteers from several Arkansas Baptist churches joined with area churches and businesses to distribute 400 boxes of food during the Community Thanksgiving Meal.
This event, now in its seventh year, was held at Jacksonville High School in Jacksonville. Arkansas Baptist churches involved in the endeavor included First Baptist Church, Jacksonville; Second Baptist Church, Jacksonville; Victory Baptist Church, Jacksonville; and Friendship Baptist Church, Sherwood. The North Pulaski Baptist Association also participated and provided resources for the event. A number of local businesses contribute funds each year as part of the One City Initiative, which organizes the meal each year.
Boxes included enough food to feed a family of four a Thanksgiving meal with leftovers and a gift card to Kroger. Local churches also collected food to include in the boxes.
“With this year’s rising food costs, we know the upcoming holiday season will be a hard one for many families,” said David O’Dell, pastor of Second Baptist Church, Jacksonville and a member of the One City Initiative steering committee. “We wanted to do what we could to help.”
To learn more about Jacksonville’s OneCity Initiative as well as partnership and sponsorship opportunities, go to OneCity.City or email firstname.lastname@example.org.