By Sharon Mager
BALTIMORE, Md. — Christian Liberty Church (CLC) may be the catalyst that God uses to revive West Baltimore. The church had their fifth “O’ Give Thanks” annual Thanksgiving worship service and dinner for their community on Nov. 18 at Frederick Douglas High School. Eighty missionaries helped, 53 people came forward to accept Christ as savior — 23 of those people joined the church — and 14 requested baptisms. Many others came forward for prayer for various needs.
In addition to a catered Thanksgiving meal to the more than 600 people who showed up, the church gave away 430 turkeys, of which 350 had baskets attached filled with Thanksgiving “fixins.” An army of volunteers assembled the food and served guests.
“When we first did this, we gave away about 20 turkeys,” Lee says. “Each year it has been doubling and doubling. We had a few left over after the service this year, and my wife, Pasche, Brother Terry Frieson, who is our missions director, myself and about four others went to Gilmore Homes on Pennsylvania Avenue and ‘love bombed’ people with turkeys. It was a glorious time.”
The church had help — much help for the dinner. Mission teams from six churches arrived to pray, evangelize and help prepare for the massive event. Churches that sent teams included Hephzibah Baptist Church Wendell, NC; The River Community Church, Fayetteville, NC; Center Baptist Church, Wade, NC; Bethlehem Baptist Church Knightdale, NC; Elizabeth Baptist Church, Roseboro, NC; and First Baptist Church of Longwood, FL.
CLC has been partnering with many churches on the East Coast, helping to build up the body, through evangelism, and with disaster relief. Pastors and church leaders have shared pulpits, helped each other with missions and regularly pray for each other. They’ve built strong relationships. Lee says they’ve become family.
He especially experienced that over the Thanksgiving weekend. “When you have missionaries crying because they don’t want to leave it means more than serving string beans and giving out turkey.”
Lee acknowledged members of the CLC’s “O’ Give Thanks” Committee, who spent many hours in planning meetings, and he thanked the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, for the partnership and support.
In preparation for “O’ Give Thanks,” the church, with the mission volunteers, began evangelizing on Nov. 11, closing the doors to the church and sending everyone out on the streets to evangelize, and then again on Nov. 17, the day before the outreach. “We broke them into three teams, with 35 people each, going out, praying, leading people to Christ and inviting people to the Thanksgiving service,” Lee says.
Reflecting on the events of the weekend, Lee praises God, and he knows HE has much more in store for the church.
Lee referred to Bea Gaddy, a Baltimore city council member with a passion for helping the poor and homeless. She became well-known locally as the “Mother Teresa of Baltimore.”
He says, “Every Thanksgiving, Ms. Gaddy would feed hundreds of hungry people. Christian Liberty Church envisions modeling her heart to feed people and carry out that feeding mission in West Baltimore.”
CLC recently bought a building behind Coppin State College. ”Part of that facility will be a distribution center, where people can get hot meals daily. That doesn’t exist in West Baltimore,” Lee explains.
Pointing to Matthew 25:35-36, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes, and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me,”
Lee says,“ At the end of it all…If it ain’t about Jesus, it ain’t about nothing. All that stuff leads to Jesus.”
For more information about the church visit their Facebook page, @christianlibertychurch, or their website.