The griddle begins to sizzle, coffee is brewing and gravy is being stirred. Several members of Red Oak First Baptist Church’s Breakfast Club gather in the church’s kitchen every Sunday morning to prepare breakfast for homebound citizens.
Members of the Breakfast Club, pause to pray for those who will receive breakfasts.
The hustle and bustle of the morning’s activities is small compared to the laughter and fellowship being exchanged among the men. The “early morning crew” works to prepare sausage, eggs, pancakes, biscuits and gravy (area favorite delicacies) for senior citizens in Red Oak, Okla.
Maddux Mabry carries hot breakfasts to the car to begin Sunday morning delivery to homebound residents.
“This ministry was started 17 years ago as the Baptist Breakfast Club,” noted Johnny Montgomery, pastor of the church. “Many of the children who served in the ministry over the years are now serving God in other capacities. I can’t count the number of men, women and children this ministry has touched.”
The breakfasts are packaged in to-go boxes, and a label with a scripture is attached to each. As the men finish their duties, the delivery crew arrives. Led by Rosalie Garner, the children gather church bulletins and load the boxes and bottles of orange juice into her car. Methodically they travel from house to house, knocking on doors to deliver the breakfasts with a smile and “God bless you.” The children even gather newspapers from boxes and driveways to deliver to the waiting residents.
“You are such a blessing,” Margaret Rutledge, one of the breakfast recipients, said. “What you do is off the charts!”
Another resident Cecil Prock said, “I appreciate you guys so much. A lot of older people can’t do for themselves. You help us so much!”
Red Oak, Okla., resident Faola Hilburn never lets Bella and Maddux leave without a hug when they deliver breakfast to her every Sunday morning.
Garner works to find area residents who would benefit from the Sunday morning deliveries. The ministry averages 17 breakfasts delivered each week. Only one delivery is to a member of the church. The others are residents who might otherwise not receive a hot meal or visitor on the weekend. The children get lots of hugs while delivering.
Bella Muncy gathers bulletins to be delivered to homebound residents who enjoy reading about what is going on at First Baptist Church in Red Oak, Okla.
While the deliveries are being made, the “second crew” comes in to prepare breakfast for anyone who wants to eat before Sunday School.
When Garner and the children return to the church, she leads the children in a Bible Study.
Alex Mabry, one of the inaugural children involved and an alumna of the Breakfast Club, began delivering breakfasts when she was 5. Now a young adult, Mabry has participated in six mission trips to Haiti and one to China.
“The Breakfast Club helped me develop a servant’s heart,” Mabry said. “I learned that God wants us to be willing to give to and serve others. It allowed me to get to know elders of our community and serve them.”
Pastor Montgomery noted, “That’s what it’s all about.”
“Our church gets it, and we are training the younger generation in the importance of serving our God and others in our community,” he said. “This ministry has been a blessing to those served and those serving.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Linda Morgan is a special correspondent to The Baptist Messenger, baptistmessenger.com, newsjournal of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.)