By Sharon Mager
God wanted Barnesville Baptist Church to have a food ministry, so He gave them one. He supplied a building, a truck and a driver. Danny Moore just shakes his head in amazement as he recounts how the ministry began with a phone call in November from Rabbi/Pastor Robert Pristoop, who leads the congregation of Mishkan HaShofar, Silver Spring.
Mishkan HaShofar partners as a distribution center for “Celestial Manna,” an organization that provides food for those in need. A new store was becoming a participant with Celestial Manna and Pristoop asked Moore if he’d like to get involved, pick up the food and distribute to the Barnesville community. Moore and the church leaders agreed, and they began using the parsonage garage as a distribution operation center, but that became difficult and just wasn’t the best place for the distribution, Moore said.
“Someone had to be home all day. Also, people don’t want to come to someone’s home to get food, they want something separate for their own dignity and self-respect. I understand that completely,” Moore explained.
They prayed about getting an air-conditioned small out building where they could store and distribute the food. They applied for and received a Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Strengthening Churches Grant which supplied a portion of the funds. Then, to Moore’s great surprise, a church family donated the remainder. Then, local retailers donated a refrigerator, and freezer.
God provided a delivery truck the day after sharing the need with the church. “One of our church members went down to a dealer and purchased a vehicle, had it set up and delivered to us.
“Even the electrician who dug the trenches and wired everything came up to me afterwards and said, ‘that’s a gift!’ The trailer didn’t cost us a penny!” Moore exclaimed. God was supplying their needs, he said.
A retired church member picks up the food on Mondays and delivers the leftovers to the rescue mission on Friday. Moore said he rides with the driver to pick up the food because, amazingly, God has opened the doors for ministry at the supplier. When Moore arrives store, employees greet him and often ask him to pray for various needs. When they get back to the church, twelve members working on a rotating basis help sort and store the food.
Barnesville Church’s food distribution center is now open to the community on Wednesdays and Fridays. Moore shared with the congregation that the food was available, and they passed on the information with family and friends—publicity was “word of mouth.”
When guests arrive for groceries they discover It’s a self-serve operation. “Folks take what they need. They help themselves,” he said. Once again, Moore emphasizes the church’s desire to ensure respect and dignity to their guests who need food. Bibles, provided by Gideons International, are available for free. Though it’s not required, many people stop in to see Moore before getting the food and he has an opportunity to talk to them, pray with them and show love.
Moore’s own background is one of serving others. “My father and mother were officers in the Salvation Army for 60 years,” Moore said. Every day he saw love in action and caring for the needy. “I didn’t think it was so great growing up as a kid living in missions, but now, I realize how amazing it was and it made me who I am,” he said.
No food is wasted. “Whatever is left we take down to The Frederick Rescue Mission,” Moore said. A local farmer arrives each week to pick up leftovers that don’t make it to the mission to feed his pigs.
God has recently opened many doors at Barnesville Baptist Church to share the Gospel of Jesus, Danny Moore said. “The food distribution is a great addition to the total outreach ministry that God has given us.” Recently a family of six began attending the church and others have been baptized.