Ebenezer Fellowship Church has stood at the corner of East 34th Street in Minneapolis for more than 25 years. But an article in one of the local papers about hunger and giving back to the neediest among us changed the church’s relationship with its community.

The Holy Spirit used the article as an impetus to create a partnership between Ebenezer and a national corporation that has allowed the church members to fulfill the gospel commission of 1 Peter 5:2. This verse admonishes us to,“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind” (KJV).

Under the steady and intentional leadership of Pastor Johnathan B. Fields Jr. and the enthusiasm of the congregation, Ebenezer Fellowship became an “Agency Partner” of Second Harvest Heartland, a nonprofit organization fighting to end hunger through community partnerships, food banks and more. Church members began distributing fresh, farm-grown produce to the community.

This community outreach effort was combined with soul winning strategies that include inserting tracts and booklets in the plastic bags that contain the produce and offering onsite prayers and “prayer pillows” that contain tracts and copies of OUTLOOK magazine.

The community’s response has been positive, as familiar faces continue to return. For the church volunteers, the reward and joy of doing God’s will is seeing tears of gratitude and thankfulness in the eyes of a mother when walking away with her three-month-old child, or a grandmother with her grandson shouting out, “Glory to God,” or even an elderly woman pulling a cart who kept repeating in awe, “I didn’t know you guys do this. I have to call my son to tell him.”

Making an impact, sharing the gospel

Where does the little corner church in Minneapolis go from here? Ebenezer Fellowship has already been asked by Second Harvest to collaborate with and sponsor two school-based food programs. These programs provide food and resources for over 600 students and their families every month.

Ebenezer Fellowship Church may be small, but with God’s help and under the leadership of Pastor Fields, an impact is being made that we pray will be felt throughout the city of Minneapolis as we work to fulfill the gospel mission in our community.

Callmie Dennis is program manager for Second Harvest Community Partnership at the Ebenezer Fellowship Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Photos: Courtesy of Central States Conference