Church reaches out to those in need

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Temperatures are in the low twenties and hundreds of people are seeking shelter, but along with a warm place to stay, many are also getting a hot meal. That’s where a local church steps in to fill stomachs as well as nourish the soul.

“I understand that it’s cold outside,” says Minister Beverly McDonald of the Bethel Missionary Baptist Chruch. “But we still have to say thank you God for all that you do for us.”

And tonight, God has provided what seems like an endless supply of dinners, all neatly served up in togo boxes, complete with a tasty dessert.

“We all gotta eat,” says Chris Edwards, a homeless man staying at the Boutwell Auditorium. “And everybody deserves a good meal regardless of their situation.

A tough situation for many indeed. Especially on a night like tonight, when it’s expected to drop down to single digits. The Boutwell is packed with men, women and children. The close quarters can sometimes cause a few to get impatient, but most are just grateful these organizations care enough to provide a few hot meals.

“I’m really glad they have them because I’ve been to cities where they didn’t have all this,” says Patrick McLellan, a homeless Veteran. “And you were on the streets and you freeze. They didn’t have anything for you.”

But here they have plenty. And just like the loaves and the fishes, these hot meals just keep on coming, loaded up from the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church’s bus, they are rolled in and served up to happy faces.

“Anybody who’s ever been hungry understands that a full tummy does warm the heart,” says McDonald. “And we understand that you cannot hear the gospel unless you’re full. And so we have come tonight to say first I want to make sure that you’re full and I’ll come back another time and tell you about Jesus.”

That primary mission accomplished, what everyone here can now focus on is getting a good nights sleep in a safe, warm place.

The Bethel Missionary Baptist Church says they are very committed to feeding people in our community. They volunteer to provide at least one meal every time the Boutwell is open as a warming station.

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