UNION — A local church that assisted more than 10,000 people through its food ministry in 2013 continued to provide food and household items to the needy of Union County this week.
Trinity Baptist Church, 309 Barnado Road, seeks to minister to the needs of low-income families and homeless individuals through its Channel of Blessings Community Outreach Ministry. Through its ministry, the church pulls together various churches, non-profit organizations, businesses and individuals in an effort to reach out to the lowest income areas of Union County. In cooperation with these groups and individuals, the church distributes food and essential household items at 12 different locations throughout the county.
Church members, volunteers and representatives of the other churches and organizations that partner with the ministry were busy this week preparing for distributions including the Channel of Blessings distribution on Tuesday at the Union Housing Authority Community Center on Horseshoe Circle. The distribution at Horseshoe Circle attracted a large number of people who each received a box of food including milk and meat, bread and desserts, dried and canned goods as well as paper products.
Rev. Neil Keisler, pastor of Trinity Baptist and director of Channel of Blessings, announced this week that in 2013 the ministry distributed food and needed household items to 5,466 families or a total of 10,078 individuals. Of those, 2,711 were 18 years of age or younger, 6,172 were ages 19-64, and 1,193 were 65 years of age or older.
In addition to its food/household items distributions, Channel of Blessings also provides assistance to the homeless and to families in crisis situations.
Keisler said that in 2013, the ministry placed or referred 11 people — six men and five women — to temporary shelters. Another five homeless persons were identified but not directly assisted by the ministry.
The ministry also assisted 11 families in crisis situations including the victims of abuse and abandonment. It also assisted two individuals in finding jobs.
At Christmas the ministry assisted 140 families, providing gifts for both adults and children.
Channel of Blessings has partnered with and assists on an ongoing basis the following organizations:
• Celebrate Recovery
• White Pines Youth Ministry Outreach
• Union Housing Authority After School Program
• Salvation Army
• Safe Homes
• Union County Schools
While it has sought to bless the lives of the needy of Union County, Keisler said the ministry itself has been blessed with the means to continue its work due to the generosity of a number of local and area organizations
“We were blessed this past year with grants from both the United Way of the Piedmont ($3,000) and Broad River Electric ($3,000),” Keisler said. “Gestamp also gave us a grant for $300 to help provide school supplies for the Union County Schools.
“Churches, such as Trinity Baptist, Mon-Aetna Baptist, First Baptist Union, Buffalo Baptist, and Padgett’s Creek also donated time and funds in support of this ministry,” he said. “We also received numerous donations from other churches and individuals, all of which helped us remain financially stable, while being able to minister to so many families in need.”
Keisler said the ministry has also benefited from the support of Union County as well as organizations in the region.
“None of this could have been accomplished if it were not for our partnership with Union County, that provides warehouse space for our ministry,” Keisler said. “Churches and organizations such as Restoration Church Spartanburg, Church Builders Spartanburg, Seeds of Hope Woodruff, Second Harvest Charlotte, Gift In Kind Center Spartanburg, Hunters For The Hungry, and others also provided much of the food and supplies which we distributed.”
Anyone who needs the ministry’s help should call Rev. Keisler at 864-706-0481.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.