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‘Washing feet:’ Church serves free Thanksgiving meals

By Rebecca Rider
rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

EAST SPENCER — Members of Providence Baptist Church in East Spencer won’t be spending Thanksgiving Day watching football or parades — instead, they’ll be in the church fellowship hall, “washing feet.”

Providence Baptist is a small church with a big heart, and for the past seven years, the congregation has devoted the Thanksgiving holiday to providing a free meal to anyone who asks. It’s their way of sharing God’s love with those around them.

“We just felt that we needed to do something to reach out to the community,” Sam Adams, one of the organizers, said.

The church offers a meal to anyone who needs one — whether they’re homeless, have no family to spend the day with or simply don’t want to cook. And it’s a community effort. The congregation, joined by that of Yadkin Baptist Church, cooks up a storm or spends the day driving back and forth across the county to those who are homebound or lack transportation. Some of them “barely have a place to sleep,” organizer Ida Adams said.

The group estimates that the church provides an average of 200 meals each year.

“This is our washing one another’s feet,” organizer Terry Penley said. “…This is our way of giving back.”

As the drivers travel the roads, they keep an eye out for anyone who looks hungry walking down the road. If they see someone, they stop and offer them a meal.

To Adams and the others who volunteer their time, the key lies in showing love — not pity or condescension. After all, they could be in the same position tomorrow.

This year, Providence Baptist has partnered with the town of East Spencer, with plans to provide free meals to the local police and fire departments. Adams said they’ve asked Mayor Barbara Mallett if she knows of any families in need.

“Our goal is to reach out to the community for whoever may need it,” Adams said.

The meal will be served in the church fellowship hall, 620 Andrews St., East Spencer, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Those who would like a delivered meal should call Sy Ponds at 704-637-6629, Jason Brown at 704-603-8041 or Sam Adams at 704-209-6454 and give the address and number of meals desired. Leave a message if necessary.

Other free meals:

Outreach Christian Ministries, 722 W. Horah St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 19: 8th annual Thanksgiving dinner. Our aim continues to be to provide guidance to anyone desiring to enhance their lives spiritually, as well as to help meet the basic needs of those right in our own backyard.

Love Christian Center, 102 N. Long Street, East Spencer, will provide free Thanksgiving dinner on Thanksgiving Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Anyone desiring a free Thanksgiving dinner may come to the church and fellowship while they are eating their dinner. For the sick and shut in, call 704-267-8648 for free delivery.

True Holiness Church of God, 309 Rosemont Ave., Kannapolis. Meals will be held between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day. Take out is available and delivery is available upon request. Orders for delivery should be placed no later than 10 a.m. Nov. 22. For more information or to place an order call True Holiness Church of God at 704-938-3972, Pastor Renwick Fisher at 980-621-4794, Elizabeth Gillispie at 704-932-3053 or Traci Gillispie at 704-932-3053.

Sandy Ridge AME Zion Church, 1425 Mt. Moriah Church Road, China Grove, across from Landis Elementary

10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thanksgiving Day

“Feeding Those in Need,” a traditional Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Delivery available to homebound parishioners or members of the local community in need. Info: contact Mary Sheely at 704-918-6234, or call the church for deliveries, 704-855-1140.

Rowan Helping Ministries will serve its regular lunch meal from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Honey Baked Ham, 120 Summit Park Drive.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

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