Student-led event at FBC bring holiday happiness

Published 9:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2022

As late November approached, many students looked forward to the upcoming Thanksgiving break.

Others looked to provide some community service.

Spearheaded by student Trinity Townsend, a service project at First Baptist Church on North Highland Street fed dozens from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday while providing additional goods just in time for the holidays.

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“The goal of the service project [is] to help underserved communities, and I wanted to reach out and give back,” said Townsend. “I knew the holidays were coming up…I wanted people also to come in and eat if they weren’t given a traditional meal because, as you know, inflation is very high, and food is very pricey. I wanted people to come sit down and get a free, hot meal.”

Townsend, a high school junior, is a student of the Craft Academy for Excellence in Mathematics and Science. As a result, she takes classes at Morehead State University. The program provides academically gifted students with a postsecondary residential experience when completing their last two years of high school.

She has long been a member of First Baptist Church.

“I emailed [First Baptist Church] and asked them if they’d be willing to do it,” she said. “I know they’re more than willing to help with this project.”

Along with food, day-to-day necessities were provided to those who came to First Baptist Church on Saturday.

Bags filled with various toiletries – including deodorant, soap, a toothbrush, and toothpaste – were provided to those that arrived.

The bags, which included donations from others in the community, and tables for dining, got set up on Friday evening.

First Baptist Church is no stranger to providing service, as it runs a food pantry twice a week on Wednesdays and Saturdays. While associated with God’s Pantry Food Bank, outside donations are also welcome.

Marvin O. King is the Pastor of First Baptist Church in Winchester.

“We want to do our part in order to help those that we serve feel a sense of just being special, to feel that they’re valued, and to give them a sense of hope and dignity during this holiday season,” he said.

Volunteers helped dish out meals that included turkey casserole, corn pudding, macaroni and cheese, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce, bottled water, and Ale-8.

For dessert, guests enjoyed their choices of brownies, strawberry cake, and yellow cake with a caramel frosting.

While acknowledging that showing compassion to others this holiday season was a guiding force, Pastor King also connected the mission to the church’s work.

“We’ve been called to minister, to build relationships with…people to give them hope, and to give them the opportunity”, he stated. “This perfectly aligns with our message because we pride ourselves and specialize in focusing on those who are undeserved.”

The service project and Townsend’s effort did not go unnoticed by the family, who also preached the benefit of fellowship that came with the project.

“We’ve invited everyone to come out…and just kind of [have] fellowship”, said Natasha Menifee, Trinity’s mother. “We want people not only to serve but to share…have conversations and dialogue.”

As for Townsend, she remains focused on others.

“I’ve been blessed in my life, and I wanted to give back to people who I know have not had the opportunities that I have,” she said. “I just want to put a smile on people’s faces any way I can.”