VICTORIA - Through discovering a community need and a partnership with the local food bank, Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Victoria has begun a feeding program that is making an impact in both the city and the church.
"We believe that the church is not supposed to be an institution that caters to itself," said Montari Morrison, pastor of Greater Mount Calvary. "The church is always supposed to be a resource to the community. Our message is supposed to go outside of the walls and not only be a spiritual help but also a physical help."
Since April 2014, volunteers from Greater Mount Calvary, as well as neighboring churches, have been handing out packages of food from the local food bank to about 115 families in the impoverished community once a month.
People in Victoria are always willing to give, Morrison explained, which is why it comes as no shock that members of other churches also volunteer every month. They come eagerly just like they would for a local school fundraiser.
On a recent visit to Greater Mount Calvary, Ira Antoine, director of bi-vocational pastors ministry for Texas Baptists, was encouraged by the cooperation as well as the community outreach he witnessed.
"It's not just 'come and see us,' but 'we're coming to see you,'" he said about the church fulfilling community needs. "It goes back to Jesus not only preaching to the crowd but also feeding the crowd."
As a great teacher, Jesus could have drawn a large crowd simply by preaching inside a temple. Instead, he portrayed an example of community outreach by meeting the physical and spiritual needs of people who otherwise may not have come to him.
Morrison, who has been pastoring at Greater Mount Calvary for three years, hopes this is the beginning of a mindset change for the church, that it is the inspiration for more ministries reaching outside the church walls such as GED classes and ESL programs.
"This is our Jerusalem," he said. "We should care about our Jerusalem.... I just want to give (community members) faith to believe there's still light in this dark world. There's still people in the world that care."