Inspired by a similar
project by First Baptist Church, Charlotte, last year, 22 churches in Metrolina Baptist Association will be “feeding the multitude” Nov. 22-24.
Other churches in the state
have picked up on First Baptist’s 2008 “Feeding the 5,000” event in which it
distributed 1,000 boxes of food that each would provide a Thanksgiving feast
for a family of five following a worship service and gospel presentation at the
church. Metrolina is taking it citywide.
Bob Lowman, Metrolina
director/missionary, is a member of First Baptist Charlotte and immediately
following the service last year began planning for a 2009 event among the
associations 113 churches.
committed to participate and will distribute from eight sites an estimated
2,700 boxes of food that each contains enough rice, yams, beans and a canned
ham to feed five. Each box will also contain a paperback copy of the New
Two of the churches will
provide a meal after the worship service, before distributing the boxes of
Following a meeting in Cary
Nov. 16 Lowman thought of including a New Testament and he stopped at every
LifeWay Christian Bookstore between Cary and Raleigh and bought each of the
1,600 copies available.
The eight distribution
points are: First Baptist, Nations Ford Community, First Baptist, Matthews;
University Hills, Holly Hunter, Westmoreland, East and New Hope.
Each church distributed
flyers advertising the event to apartment complexes, trailer parks and other
places with a likelihood of finding residents who need the help.
The best news to Lowman,
associational director/missionary for three years, is that four churches are
reviving or starting food pantry ministries as a result of the initiative.
“My hope when we started
promoting this event was that churches would come forward to say, ‘We want to
do that, but believe we should start doing it year round,’” Lowman said. “So
three or four churches have started food pantries. And one that was operating a
pantry, but being overrun by need, is getting other churches to help now in a
Metrolina Association has
undergone many difficult days in the past few years, but Lowman,
director/missionary for three years, said the “Feeding the Multitudes in
Metrolina” project has “helped unite us in ways we haven’t been united in
“The practical reason
for doing this is that feeding ministries in Charlotte are being significantly
used because so many families are coming asking for food and resources,” Lowman
said. “We believe it’s our responsibility as a church to feed the hungry, so we’re
The trend, he said, has been
for churches to pass off their feeding mission to other organizations. “When
people come to the church for help, it is good if they help from the church,”
He said the worship service
before food distribution and the New Testament in each box means the churches
will be feeding “body and spirit.”
Lowman hopes to see the
vision double to feed 25,000 people next year.