ELIZABETHTOWN — “For the love of Christ,” one ministry is starting a soup kitchen in Bladen County.
Jerry Hood, director of The Love of Christ Ministries of Fayetteville and member of Second Chance Community Church in Elizabethtown, believes God has called him and fellow believers to feed the less fortunate in Bladen County.
“1 John 3:16-18 asks us if we see someone in need, and don’t try to meet that need, where’s the love of God in us?” he said. “If we have the world’s goods and try to keep them to ourselves, where’s the love of Christ in us? I’ve been in church all my life, and people talk about doing a lot of things, but these verses say don’t just talk about it — be about it.”
With those verses as his directive, Hood and the congregation of Second Chance plans to open the church’s kitchen on Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch. A hot meal will be served between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to anyone who walks through the door. Hood hopes other churches or Christians will get on board with the idea and offer to cook and serve meals on other days.
“As long as I’ve been doing this, I’ve never seen anybody help that didn’t get a blessing from it,” Hood remarked.
Hood speaks from experience, as he’s been involved in food ministry for quite some time. A motorcycle enthusiast, Hood, under the direction of the Holy Spirit, took his motorcycle trailer and converted it to a cooking trailer equipped with everything that would be needed to provide meals and inspected and certified to do so. He began cooking and serving meals for the homeless and needy in Fayetteville, and what began as a small meal for 30 people once a week now sees up to 200 people come through the line daily for the chance for some warm nourishment.
“I thank God for the growth there, and I’ve backed away and turned that over to others to concentrate getting something similar going in Bladen County,” Hood commented.
Even more recently, he and the rest of the congregation at Second Chance Community Church have been preparing breakfast at 9:30 on Sunday mornings for anyone who wants to come.
With this new venture, however, they’re hoping to expand and minister to more people, all for the love of Christ. The volunteer says what he hopes is that the atmosphere of the meals will be one of warmth, where everyone is welcome and treated with respect regardless of their circumstances or need.
“We just want to minister to people,” said Hood. “We try to see what their needs are, and I feel like there are a lot of people out there with them.”
Because of that, and for one other reason, Hood feels the endeavor will last.
“I’m not an educated man, and I don’t have money,” he commented, “but one thing I do know is that God called me to do this, and I will be committed to Him until the day I die, for His glory.”
The Love of Christ Ministries and Second Chance Ministries will begin serving meals on Tuesday, Oct. 17, at Second Chance Community Church, located at 205 S. Poplar St. in Elizabethtown.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.