The actions of one Good Samaritan in Winnsboro have extended far beyond the man to which he responded with aid.
Over two years ago, Tommy Wright was driving home when he came across an elderly man, James Broome, who had fallen in the middle of the road as he traveled to Food Lion.
Wright carried the man home to Laurelwood Apartments and the new member at the First Church of the Nazarene shared the experience with his Sunday School class there. He felt that apartment complex and area would be a good place for an outreach ministry but his classmates took some convincing at first.
Undeterred, he and his wife, Marsha, cooked and delivered 23 fried fish dinners at the complex. He reported how blessed they were by the event and then his class got on board.
One Saturday per month they gather in the church kitchen to prepare meals for residents in need.
The need may not be a primarily financial one.
Norma Branham said some residents really just need the companionship and to know someone is thinking of them and praying for them.
On Saturday the Crock Pot Ministry group prepared 165 plates containing chicken salad, fruit salad, a croissant, pasta salad, a bag of chips, and tea.
The group meets at 9 a.m. on the first Saturday of each month to prepare the meals and then to go out and deliver them.
Usually they learn of people needing the meals via word of mouth.
Church members or the people they deliver meals to will tell them of someone in need and the group will add them to their list.
Branham said one of the best parts of the ministry was getting to know the “grapevine of old ladies” who would call each other to check and make sure that each had received their meal from the group for the month.
Once we did pork loin for them, and they kept calling back and forth debating what it was.
“Some thought they had eaten chicken, some pork and others ham,” Branham chuckled.
Members of the Crock Pot Ministry are thankful for the variety of hands who come together to make it happen.
Members from Shady Grove Independent, Zion Presbyterian and from Cornerstone Church all have contributed to the efforts.
Pastor Harry Varn of First Nazarene explained parts of this type of outreach ministry that really appealed to him.
“I like this because it brings us face-to-face close contact with people. We get to see their needs and then are able to minister to them,” he said. “An exciting thing is that this ministry came about because of concerns of lay people. We are grateful it caught fire here in Winnsboro.”
The crock pot ministry is under the larger umbrella of the Harvesting Fairfield ministry that the church does.
In addition to providing assistance with heating bills, utilities, and rent, the church partners with Price’s Pharmacy to help provide funding so persons in financial need can receive their prescriptions.
The church also stocks a food bank and a clothing bank on its premises as part Harvesting Fairfield.
The Crock Pot Ministry has been supported financially by other churches in addition to the Church of the Nazarene. They have served barbecue sandwiches, spaghetti, and hot dog meals in addition to the chicken salad cold plates.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Crock Pot Ministry or if you would like to have the volunteers come by your home to provide food and fellowship, please contact the First Church of the Nazarene at 635-4463.