by Jonette Appleton
First Baptist has sponsored a Food Pantry ministry for many years. Over those years numerous volunteers have been a part of this important need to the community. It was in 2001 when Ed Posey felt God’s call to take leadership as director of this ministry.
Ed served faithfully and tirelessly to grow this ministry to reach more people each year and to recruit church volunteers to serve each week. He was instrumental in the church designating a room for the storage of the food items where they can be easily distributed each Wednesday to those in need. Under his leadership they were able to become partners with River Bend Food Bank and meet the needs of many more in the community.
As the ministry has grown the men of the church began meeting early each Wednesday and have breakfast together. They assist the families by loading the food in their vehicles and becoming acquainted with them. In 2014 under the leadership of Pastor Cory Gonyo a Men’s Bible Study was started in conjunction with the breakfast time.
Certainly, meeting the needs of the families who come to panty is very important. Even more important is the opportunity to get acquainted with the people personally that God brings to the pantry and to pray for them and with them. In 2015, the Food Pantry Ministry was blessed to distribute 30,267 pounds of food and minister to 3,708 people.
Because of health reasons Ed needed to step down as director of this ministry. Ed would not want recognition for himself but the church wanted to honor him in a special way for his selfless, dedicated service to the church and community for many years. Though Ed is not able to be there each week, he continues to stay in touch with what is happening with the ministry.
Richard Bettis has taken over the role of director of the food pantry ministry.