Harrison said that some people think churches can’t work together but the White Hall Food Pantry proves that this is not true. The churches involved with the food pantry with volunteers are Calvary Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, Claud Road Baptist Church, Cornerstone Apostolic Church, Family Church of Redfield, Family Church of White Hall, First Baptist Church of White Hall, Hardin Baptist Church, White Hall United Methodist Church, and White Hall United Pentecostal Church. The Food Support churches are Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, Church on the Rock, Harvest Time Church and White Hall Freewill Baptist Church. The White Hall High School Beta Club also works hard for the food pantry and several members were in attendance.

The White Hall Food Pantry Volunteer Appreciation Dinner was held at the James “Jitter” Morgan Community Center on Thursday, April 13 with a packed room for the event.

Representatives of nearly all 14 churches involved with the pantry were on hand.

Pastor Stephen Harrison of Family Church welcomed those in attendance and asked Pastor Jordan Farris of Central Baptist Church to lead the invocation.

Harrison said that some people think churches can’t work together but the White Hall Food Pantry proves that this is not true. The churches involved with the food pantry with volunteers are Calvary Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, Claud Road Baptist Church, Cornerstone Apostolic Church, Family Church of Redfield, Family Church of White Hall, First Baptist Church of White Hall, Hardin Baptist Church, White Hall United Methodist Church, and White Hall United Pentecostal Church. The Food Support churches are Bethany Missionary Baptist Church, Church on the Rock, Harvest Time Church and White Hall Freewill Baptist Church. The White Hall High School Beta Club also works hard for the food pantry and several members were in attendance.

Harrison gave several examples both from the Bible and from what he has seen at the food pantry. Last year there were over 800 different volunteers who served at the pantry. Harrison said that 100 percent of what is donated goes to the people. He went on to thank Phil and BeeBee Fenters who are the directors of the food pantry. “Because of their efforts so many people are touched.” As an expression of appreciation the churches got together and gave BeeBee a gift to show their appreciation. Harrison told Phil that he had gotten him out of forgetting Valentine’s Day.

Lt. Mark Bradley and Sgt. Mickey Buffkin of the White Hall Police Department were present to give out certificates to the partners of the pantry. “He said the Police Department totally supports what the food pantry does and work hard having food drives for the pantry.”

Bradley then gave out certificates to each of the churches represented.

Several volunteers gave testimonies about their work with the pantry and what it has meant for them. First up was Gene Gluchowski with English Construction who told the audience how he got “called” to White Hall and was trying to find a place to live temporarily. The first person he spoke to about a house couldn’t meet with him right away because he was headed to work at the food pantry. When he came back to look at the house later, the gentleman invited him to Family Church on Sunday.  He went. He was then getting gas at Big Jim’s and as he was leaving, knocked over the change bank that took donations for the food pantry. He began to realize that this was where God wanted him to be. Involved with the food pantry.

“What I am most impressed about is the way this community comes together. That is what I call church.” said Gluchowski, “the joy that comes from doing this for others far surpasses any other.”

Pastor Dan McDonald of Family Church of Redfield spoke next about the primary purpose of the pantry if giving food. “But people that come in there are in need of more than just the provisions they receive. It is our job to love people and feed their spiritual needs as well as their physical needs,” he said, “the food may only last a few days, but the food we give them by listening or taking the time to care lasts a lifetime.” He said, “We are at the pantry to serve people and love them. For the most part the people we serve a people who are hurting and in need. We must show them the love of Christ.”

Pastor Paul Williams of First Baptist Church of White Hall spoke last and thanked all those volunteers present and thanked Stephen Harrison for all he does. Williams church is the physical location of the food pantry. Williams said they have seen tremendous growth and they are experiencing the growing pains. He thanked the Fenters and all the volunteers  for all they do for the food pantry and do it with such love and joy.  “By volunteering as you do you are showing the love of Christ. It is an incredible thing for a pastor to see how these churches all come together, as Christ would have it.”

Kirby Williams, of Stone Bank came up to talk about how he and Kelly Williams of the White Hall branch, had been discussing ways to help in the community. They talked with Mayor Noel Foster who suggested that they sponsor a “small” dinner for the volunteers of the food pantry. In the upcoming weeks they will be having their “soft” opening on Monday, April 17, then a grand opening on May  

“Over the next few weeks we will be doing several things, this is not a complete list, we will have even more surprises coming.” Williams listed they will be feeding the teachers at the schools lunch, they have a surprise for the police and fire departments, the food pantry, the youth soccer program, they are going to be giving out 10 passes to Crenshaw Springs Water Park, they will be giving a sizeable donation to the animal shelter.

“There are programs already in the community we are going to help, the Men In Training program and the Leader In Me. Another thing we will be doing is a new flag pole and new American flag at the ball park, so in honor of our White Hall veterans we will be putting up the flag pole with a new flag.” Williams said.

A short video presentation was shown with several testimonies from those who have been served by the food pantry, as well as the volunteer workers. Pastor Harrison said he had wanted to go around and get the testimonies from those who had been helped.

They then gave out many door prizes that had been donated for the event, The night ended with the White Hall Community Food Pantry Praise Team that led the audience in praise and worship. Everyone present then made a circle holding hands and praying for the community, the nation and each and everyone there.