More than 70 members of Madison Hills Baptist Church in northeast San Antonio spent a recent Saturday morning providing groceries to neighbors in need, and inviting them to learn about the Bread of Life.
Volunteers sorted and sacked groceries at the church, then teams loaded them into trucks and went door-to-door through the neighborhood, delivering groceries to more than 200 households.
“There were people in tears,” Pastor Robert Bennett recounted. “They couldn’t believe a church would be giving out food, knowing how expensive groceries are now.”
At James Madison High School, across the street from the church, two-thirds of the students are Hispanic and half qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches.
Reaching the community
The Madison Hills Baptist “Community Blessing” outreach focused particularly on older homes in the neighborhood, many of which had transitioned to rental property in recent years, Bennett said.
“We are right in the middle of the community, and at some of the homes where our people delivered groceries our members were told, ‘We didn’t even know the church was there,’” Bennett lamented. “But some of them came to church on Sunday morning.”
Community Blessing volunteers made other discoveries through the door-to-door outreach.
“We found a group home for mentally challenged adults that we didn’t know about,” Bennett said. “We left several sacks of groceries, and our people will be going back to some homes to mow the yards because they found out the people who live there aren’t able to do it.”
‘It’s all from Jesus’
In addition to offering food and a greeting from Madison Hills, members provided their information about Easter activities at church, particularly inviting them to Easter worship services scheduled in the leased Performing Arts Center at Madison High.
“We have a relationship with the school, helping them by providing food to homeless students,” Bennett said. “And twice a year we feed the whole staff.”
While the Community Blessing concentrated primarily on a low-income area, Bennett noted the church also has an ongoing outreach to new residents in the 1,000 homes being built elsewhere in the community.
“We take them bags of cleaning supplies when they are moving in,” Bennett said.
“We’re ‘the bag people’ — that’s how people know us, whether it’s groceries or cleaning supplies. That’s OK, just as long as they know it’s all from Jesus.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Ken Camp and originally published by Texas Baptist Standard.