Food for the soul

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 11, 2007

HARRELLSVILLE – There’s more on the plate than soup and a sandwich; there’s food for the soul.

In an effort to reach out into its community, members of Mt. Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church have launched “The Welcome Table” n a soup kitchen ministry aimed at feeding more than just the stomach.

“Everything is free…the food, the fellowship and Jesus,” said Mt. Pleasant Pastor Robert Lewis. “All are welcomed to join us starting at 12 noon on the fourth Saturday of every month.”

The church is located on NC 45, approximately two miles south of Harrellsville.

Pastor Lewis said church members began formulating ideas about the project in November of last year. After much planning, the group targeted March as its starting point.

“Our effort centered around putting God more into the community through the church,” Lewis said. “The ultimate goal in this is to win souls to Christ.”

While Lewis admitted that some may see the soup kitchen as a gimmick, he stressed there were no strings attached when it came to those seeking a hot meal.

“It’s our job to foster fellowship and love,” he said. “At the same time, it’s our job as Christians to spread God’s word and minister to the needs of all people. That should never change and the message, no matter how it’s delivered, should never change. You never compromise the message God sends through his people.”

While attendance was light when the church members opened “The Welcome Table” on March 24, Pastor Lewis was not at all worried.

“Everything big in Christ always starts small,” he noted. “We’re starting small and hoping to grow because we believe our soup kitchen ministry is God’s will. If we stay true to his word, we will succeed.”

Additionally, Pastor Lewis was sure the soup kitchen will succeed based upon his assessment of his church members.

“We have an extremely enthusiastic membership,” he observed. “They know as well as I that there is a need for this within our community.”

Church members involved in the soup kitchen outreach ministry include, but are not limited to, Deron Cofield, Johnnie P. Manley, Mollie Collins, Janice Sessoms, Virginia Gregg, Annie Cooper, Gloria Bazemore, Esther Outlaw, Patricia Sessoms, Linda Miller and Charles Beckwith.

Their food is waiting for the taking, and so is their love and compassion for their fellow man.