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Mountain View Baptist offers free dinner for Thanksgiving

Mountain View Baptist Church in Phil Campbell began a Thanksgiving Day dinner ministry years ago – and that ministry is still going today, serving in excess of 600 meals to families across the area every year when the November holiday of grateful togetherness rolls around.

Community members who wish to take part in the Thanksgiving Day meal can eat and fellowship at the church; come pick up plates to take home; or sign up to have meals delivered – church members deliver meals in a 15-mile radius.

“This ministry really touches my heart because there is that need there for people who are alone on Thanksgiving,” said Sharon Loden, one church member who is always involved in the annual outreach. “They are going to be sitting at home by themselves. Why sit there when you can come visit with us?”

Sammy Taylor, who has been pastor at Mountain View for 42 years, said the ministry began as a work spearheaded by the church’s Christian Life Ministry Team. It was sparked, at least in part, when a local Civitan Club ceased a similar program in Russellville.

The Christian Life Ministry Team coordinates the dinner each year, but the ministry involves nearly the entire church, with whole families doing their part to make it successful – children through senior adults pitching in to make it happen.

“We wanted to provide a meal to those who were homebound or did not have an opportunity to have a traditional Thanksgiving meal with their family or friends,” Taylor explained. “We ask our church family to give at least one hour on Thanksgiving Day to help with this ministry – to be a blessing to someone else.”

Taylor said many of the church’s families will stop in on their way to their own family Thanksgiving meals to help pack up dinners and then deliver them. The biggest delivery is to the Franklin County Jail, where Mountain View provides plates for every inmate and every employee on shift during that time.

To reserve a place at Mountain View’s Thanksgiving table – whether literally, at the church building, or for carry out or delivery – people can call the church office at 205-993-4610 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Nov. 18. If no one answers, Taylor said callers should leave their name, address and number of plates requested, with a maximum of six per household.