Two years ago, we developed a program at the Northside Adventist Church in St. Louis called Jam Jar that focuses on both inreach and outreach for our youth. Most recently, a few of our college members agreed that growing spiritually could take place even through “biblical basketball.” Points count only if you can answer biblical questions and share the meaning of the scripture and application so the scripture becomes of value. 

While preparing, we knew we’d need a location and the Northside AY Department partnered with Jam Jar and then the church board approved this idea. During the preparation of  biblical basketball, we found out about a rather unique member of Northside who not only assisted us in the area of food being provided but is helping her family, church and community greatly on a daily basis. God is using her to impact many, as Dorcas in the Bible did.

Mother, Daughter, Servant, Giver, Friend

Rochelle Gilliam first took the position as Community Service director at Northside in March of 2022. She applied for a grant through the North American Division in August of 2022 for the sum of $10,000 and received it. The grant provided two new refrigerators, a new freezer, racks to house the food supply, an ice maker, computer, printer, television, chair and carts for carrying the food and a monitor  for online classes.

The community service center provides Bible study classes weekly on Wednesdays. She hosts Narcotics Anonymous meetings every Thursday, as well as running a food pantry  every Wednesday from 10 am -12 noon that serves 70-100 people each week. She also participates in the homeless ministry through the Pathfinder club. 

Gilliam’s mother says, “I believe this caring and helping spirit evolved when she and her siblings were younger, because instead of bringing pets home asking if they can keep them, they would bring their friends, meet people who were displaced or didn’t have any place to stay to our house, and we would let them stay until they could either go back home or find other housing.”

Rochelle Gilliam has impacted the lives of many and is not seeking self glory. I can recall calling her and her praying for me, my family, their needs, not rushing, hitting home when praying, genuinely concerned and even affirming who I am in the eyes of Christ and the labor we are doing not being in  vain. 1 Thess. 5: 12-13 says we should acknowledge those who work hard and care for us in the Lord. This servant is working hard and serving!

Rochelle  doesn’t sew as Dorcas did—mending different pieces together—but instead is mending many broken hearts through the gift of the Holy Spirit, a smile, humor, helping hand and kind word, just as Jesus did while He traveled our earth.

He met the need then He taught—Yea God! Heaven is cheering for you, Rochelle!


Tina Lyles is from the Lighthouse Seventh-day Adventist Church in St. Louis. Sydney Lyles, Jonathan Gibson, Teondra Lyles and Elder Stewart are facilitators of Jam Jar.

Learn more at or call 314.517.1938.