Gumbranch Baptist Church Pastor David Daus said his flock believes that by reaching out to their neighbors in need, they are being obedient to God’s word as revealed in Scripture.
The church will have an event titled “His banquet” for the homeless and needy of Liberty County from noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29, at Bradwell Institute’s cafeteria.
Gumbranch Baptist Church member Michelle Meadows, one of about 50 church members involved with the effort, said the congregation has collected canned food, blankets, coats and other clothing for men, women and children to give to area needy.
“There’s going to be a hot meal as well,” Meadows said. “They (clients) will probably have enough (canned goods) to take home. That’s our goal, anyway.”
Church members plan to serve spaghetti, bread, salad, a vegetable, a fruit and a dessert, she said.
“McDonald’s generously donated 200 cheeseburgers, tea, coffee and lemonade,” Meadows added.
“It’s open to whoever has a need,” she said. “We just want to serve the community biblically.”
Daus stressed he and church members do not want recognition for their efforts, they simply want to carry out divine instruction by helping others who are less fortunate.
“We’re trying to be obedient and do what God is telling us to do,” he said.
The pastor said he and church members began planning “His banquet” in late November. Daus said he has also initiated contact with the local ministerial association and the Rev. Hermon Scott, pastor of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church in Allenhurst and chair of the Liberty County Homeless Coalition.
Gumbranch Baptist, like many local churches, “gets calls daily” from people needing assistance with basic necessities, such as food and housing, Daus said.
Daisy Jones, Homeless Prevention Program Coordinator with the city of Hinesville, said people in need may also contact her organization. If they can’t immediately provide people in need the necessary services, they can refer them to organizations that can, Jones said.
The Homeless Prevention Program comes under the supervision of the city’s community development department, she said, and therefore is able to network with social service organizations throughout the region, such as the Salvation Army, DFACS and the United Way.
“We do see a few people who are actually living on the street here,” Jones said. “We’ve reached out to these people to see how we can help. If we see them, we’ll certainly tell them about our program and extend the help. Sometimes they don’t want the help. And that’s an aspect of (chronic) homelessness.”
Jones said some people have become “temporarily” homeless through various circumstances, including job loss or reduction of work hours, catastrophic illness or poor financial decision-making.
“Many of these (temporary) homeless live with family members and friends and once they get on their feet they recover,” Jones said.
She added area churches, such as Gumbranch Baptist, are making a difference.
“The community, the churches have done great work,” Jones said. “A lot of people don’t see that. They do this work without a lot of fanfare.”
To find or give help, residents can call 2-1-1 via land-line or 912-651-7730 on cell phone.