MARMADUKE, Ark. – In May, we reported that Marmaduke First Baptist Church had begun to do drive-thru meals on Wednesday nights and had already served over 1,200 meals at the time. The number of meals served exceeded the population of the town. As of October 7, the church has now been able to serve 6,044 meals to their community.
When we last spoke, Kim Bridges, lead pastor of FBC Marmaduke, had said they hadn’t decided whether or not they would continue this drive-thru method through the school year. However, due to the circumstances surrounding the pandemic, the church has continued its ministry of feeding and praying for the community.
“Every week new people come through. Many people didn’t know about us, or what we do so it’s been a perfect opportunity to reach out to the community and let them know what we’re about,” Bridges said.
Bridges talks to the passengers in each vehicle as they come through to find out how he can pray for them. He said they had a lady at their church pass away and her family came through one evening. They were blown away by the fact the church would care enough to take the time to minister to them.
Individuals, or families, that aren’t able to get out and receive the meals haven’t been left out. The food pantry volunteers take the leftover food from Wednesday night, prepare it on Thursday morning and deliver to those families.
FBC Marmaduke hasn’t started their Wednesday night activities yet; however, Bridges hosts the senior adults on Wednesday mornings for what he calls ‘Mid-Week Morning Manna.’ They worship and he brings a message to them. Attendees make a reservation beforehand and are given a free lunch that they can take home or eat at the church. This message is later broadcast through Facebook for those going through the drive-thru that night to hear.
“It’s a win-win all around,” Bridges said. “We get to pray for folks. We get to love them, feed them, and just encourage them. It’s been one of the neatest things I think I’ve ever been a part of.”