One of the three purposes of Kingdom Builders’ Church annual Thanksgiving meal will be missing this year because of the coronavirus.
Each year people come to get a good Thanksgiving meal, to help serve it and to enjoy some fellowship with old friends at Burroughs-Molette Elementary School’s cafeteria tables, said the Rev. Troy Moody who established the Feed My Sheep ministry at the church. This year with the need to social distance, however, there will be no sit-down meal. The volunteers will serve take-out meals from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to those who drive through or walk up at a changed venue, the old Risley campus at 1800 Albany St., Moody said.
Given the recent resurgence of COVID-19, Moody says he doesn’t know what to expect, but that Grandy’s is preparing 500 meals and anyone who wants to help with distribution is welcome.
“You’re just not sure,’’ Moody said of the number who will come for meals. “People are cautious on getting out. A lot of people will probably be staying in.”
Also missing this year is the “meals on wheels” component when volunteers took meals to people’s homes.
“We’ve got to be real careful this year,’’ he said.
This is the first real snag in a ministry he started 20 years ago upon returning to Brunswick from Atlanta, where he had served 17 years in Creflo Dollar’s prison ministry.
“I was called back to start this ministry,’’ he said. “The purpose of coming back was to start this church.”
Kingdom Builders is right across Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from McIntyre Court, the public housing complex where Moody grew up. In his youth, he attended First African Baptist Church. He knows the struggle people face, and that’s why the church doesn’t limit its food ministry to annual Thanksgiving meals.
“We do ‘blessing in a box,’’’ he said. “We put food in a box outside the church.”
The food is non-perishable and includes things that can be eaten right out of the can or bag, he said.
“Sardines, Vienna sausages, some chips. We make sure we have cool water. Some homeless people don’t have access to a refrigerator,’’ he said. It’s all non-perishable and sometimes they put out some staples.
The danger in such ministries is that you can become judgmental, and that can take the joy out of it, he said.
Nobody is watching at Kingdom Builders. People see the box of food out there, take what they want and go on their ways.
“It cuts down on the shame and embarrassment’’ of facing someone, Moody said. “Human nature says, ‘I’m not worthy.’ That’s a lie from the pit of hell because Jesus Christ died so we can all have redemption.”
The church also imposes no limits as it provides for people it knows are homeless and some who are addicted to drugs and alcohol.
“Some people will take all they can. Some will take just what they need. I’m not bothered by those who take it all,’’ Moody said.
“If I’ve been hungry three days and don’t know where my next meal is coming from, I may take it all. I don’t know the situation. It’s whatever you need. That’s why the box is there,’’ he said. “We’ll put more food in it.”
Asked how he manages to supply those needs daily as well as on Thanksgiving, Moody said simply Kingdom Builders is a small congregation of big hearted people.
Moody lamented that there will be no place for people to sit and enjoy the meals together.
“It’s not just a matter of being hungry, but just not being by yourself,’’he said. “People came out and enjoyed the fellowship, seeing people they hadn’t seen in a year.”
This year, however, “We’re just trying to make sure people have a decent meal.”