The Thanksgiving Day holiday was observed in Pine Bluff on Thursday with the well-being of others firmly on the minds of residents.
Pastor Clarence Peacock of Moments of Truth Evangelistic Ministry supervised his church’s second annual Thanksgiving Day meal for needy members of the community. The meal was preceded by a service of thanks.
“Everything went real well,” Peacock said Thursday afternoon. “We had our Thanksgiving service first and afterwards we had a food line set up to feed people. Altogether we had a little less than 100 people who received a meal. We had volunteers deliver some meals to people who were unable to come pick it up.”
Peacock said some food was left over after everyone was served that the ministry was able to put to good use.
“We helped out a recovery center here in town by delivering the food that we had left to them,” Peacock said. “This is going to be an annual event here in the community.”
Peacock said the day’s activities fell right in line with the mission of his organization.
“The purpose of the Moments of Truth Ministry is to connect and bring together families and the community and bring them back to God,” Peacock said. “I feel like we have some people who have kind of strayed away so we are trying to connect people and the community back to God.”
Peacock said his church currently counts a congregation of around 25 people.
“And we are growing,” Peacock said.
Peacock said nine people volunteered to prepare the meals that included turkey, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, cakes and pies.
“We have also started a food bank,” Peacock said. “We only provide food after our Sunday service. We are trying to get people to come back to the church. We offer a number of things for the community. Christ is at the center of everything that we do.”
Pastor Charlie Rogers Jr. and his wife, Gwendolyn Rogers, of Ezekiel Missionary Baptist Church also oversaw the distribution of Thanksgiving meals to those in need.
The couple founded Feed a Friend Outreach Ministries before Pastor Rogers came to Ezekiel and brought it into the church as a combined ministry.
“It was awesome,” Mrs. Rogers said. “We had people come to the church and we delivered meals to the residents of the Crown Inn on Walnut Street where they had a room set up for us to distribute the food.”
“Everything went great,” Pastor Rogers said. “We served about 120 dinners including over 60 dinners that we sent over to the Crown Inn. We started doing this about three years ago as a way to reach out to the community and to try to help those who are less fortunate. We saw a need in the community and we tried to address that need.”
Rogers said four families volunteered to prepare the meals, which included turkey, ham, dressing, corn, green beans and cake.
The Salvation Army served a Thanksgiving meal at its shelter at 501 E. 12th Avenue late Thursday afternoon.
“We had between 20 and 30 people come by to enjoy turkey, stuffing and greens,” Salvation Army Capt. David Robinson said. “We feed folks every day here. We have always fed the folks in our shelter every night. Anyone who needs a meal can come here at 4:30 in the afternoon to receive a meal.”
Robinson said shelter manager Marcus Smith oversees the preparation and the serving of the meals every day.
“We had four volunteers who came out to help serve the meal,” Robinson said. “Right now we have 10 people who we are accommodating in our shelter.”