By BRAD KELLAR
For three decades, members of Clark Street Christian Church have made sure everyone in Greenville can enjoy Christmas dinner.
The tradition continues Tuesday, as the church provides free dinners to those who need them, as they have done every year since 1982.
According to a 2006 article written by the Herald-Banner’s Carol Ferguson, the tradition began when Ernestine Katie Williams had a vision of providing a free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to the elderly, the sick and shut-ins who would not have family to visit and would not receive Meals on Wheels that day.
She said she felt that as Christians, we should not sit down to a bountiful spread until we have made certain that God’s sheep were fed, and she called her mission “Feed the Hungry.” She contacted her church for permission to use the kitchen facilities and called upon family, friends and local citizens to assist.
Margie Wright and her daughter, Millie Edwards, worked with Ernestine, taking on more tasks as her health began to fail. Sometimes they ran out of food before everyone had been fed, “... and it hurt to have to turn away any request or not be able to serve a complete dinner to everyone,” Edwards said.
Ernestine Williams received the Worthy Citizen of the year award in the early 1990s. As it became apparent she could not continue her mission, she asked Wright and Edwards to promise that they would not let the mission die out.
This year, the Christmas “Feed The Hungry” program begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the Church, 1402 Clark Street in Greenville. Meals can be dine-in, carry out, or delivered to the elderly and disabled.
Volunteers are welcome and anyone wanting to participate or who may want additional information can call 903-455-3148.