“At Soul Food, we operate with a theology of abundance,” says Minister Courtney Allen. “There’s nothing that we have that can’t be given away at Soul Food.”
Soul Food is a “feeding ministry” hosted by First Baptist Church in Dalton, Ga. Allen, the church’s minister of community ministry and missions, discusses the local ministry project in a new Skype interview with EthicsDaily.com.
Dalton’s First Baptist Church hosts between 300 to 500 people for a meal in the church’s fellowship hall on the first, third and fifth Tuesdays of the month. Allen describes guests as the working poor, underemployed and unemployed.
The number of guests makes the ministry a logistical challenge.
“We’ve learned many things about what it takes people-wise and food-wise to feed this many people,” says Allen. The church sources the meal from local food banks, goods that the church orders, and even the church’s Soul Food garden.
Allen praises Gail Duke, the church’s Soul Food coordinator.
“One thing that makes this wonderful ministry work is some really strong lay leadership,” says Allen, who joined the staff of First Baptist Church in 2011. She holds degrees from Vanderbilt University and Wake Forest School of Divinity.
“It’s not just a soup kitchen,” says Allen. “It’s not just a place that people come for food. It is a place that we really try to create an ambience and an environment in our fellowship hall that is welcoming and hospitable to people.”
Watch the interview with Allen at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily/skype-courtneyallen
Learn more about Allen, Soul Food and First Baptist of Dalton at FirstBaptistDalton.com
Watch other EthicsDaily.com Skype interviews at vimeo.com/ethicsdaily