Multiple organizations provide Thanksgiving food for locals in need

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Many local organizations put their heads and hands together to serve the community the day before Thanksgiving, including Summerville Baptist Church and Mercy Ministries.

Deborah Robinson is one of the assistant directors of Mercy Ministries. She and the group provide food and clothing to the community six days a week– absolutely free of charge.

“It’s important to me because I promised God that I would do whatever I have to do to make His people, to satisfy His people, and that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been doing this over 50 years,” Robinson said.

Every Wednesday, Robinson and the Mercy Ministries team host a food drive at Summerville Baptist Church. But it was even more special Wednesday– on the day before Thanksgiving.

“Because that’s what God told me to do. That’s why I’m in it. Not for no fame or fashion, just to do God’s work,” volunteer Michael Elam said.

“I feel good doing this, it makes me feel good to see people that need help that’s coming and there are people out here providing that help for them,” volunteer Willie Davis added.

One person helping meet that need is Pastor Mark Harris. When he became the pastor in 2019, he said he saw a major need in his community, but for more than just food.

“I knew with this church being a historical church, that this needed to be a place as a beacon of hope that they could come here for more than just a handout, that they could learn how to bring themselves up. So as the pastor, I told the congregation, we needed to have an outreach to reach the people, because they need us,” Pastor Harris said.

They’ve only been hosting food drives at Summerville Baptist for a few months now, but it has already grown so much by word of mouth.

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“It’s growing. We started off with like 30 people, now we have over 100 people to come on Wednesday, to come and get food,” Robinson said.

Pastor Harris says he hopes to see this ministry grow more and more.

“When you come here you’re treated with respect. Anything other than the food that we’re able to do, we do that too,” Pastor Harris said.

He says their mission is to serve God, serve people, and live up to his motto.

“There’s an old proverb that says each one, reach one, to teach one. And that’s the motto we go by here at Summerville Missionary Baptist Church,” Pastor Harris said.

Pastor Harris says they’re always looking for more volunteers.