Christmas morning for close to 600 diners in Savannah, Georgia, will begin with a hearty breakfast of eggs, sausage, biscuits, cheese grits, orange juice and a hot cup of coffee.
For the seventh year, some 400 community residents and church members will enjoy breakfast from 7 to 10 a.m. in the Trustees Hall at Trinity United Methodist Church. Each also will receive gifts, including a supermarket gift card.
Neighboring Speedwell United Methodist Church will host another 100 to 150 people. The first two years there, Trinity cooked the food and helped set up at Speedwell. Now, Speedwell serves its breakfast guests from its own resources.
Both churches also invite their guests to worship.
The Christmas breakfast ministry began at Trinity with one man's desire to feed homeless men and women in the community. Joseph Smith, a member of Trinity, wanted to give back to the community because he was blessed with a successful, thriving construction business.
In 2010, Trinity hosted its first Christmas morning breakfast and Smith paid for the food. More than 200 people attended and left feeling full. The following year, he reached further into his pockets and paid for the food again.
"It's good to give back," said Smith. "God has been good to me. The more I seem to do for others, the more my company grows and there is more joy in giving than receiving."
More than 75 volunteers from the church and community cook, serve and clean up. Preparation begins at 4 a.m.
"This is a wonderful feeling," said Smith. "I hope someone will read this story and offer this in their church."
AT A GLANCE Trinity United Methodist Church | 225 W. President St., Savannah, GA 31401 | 912-233-4766 | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.trinity1848.org | Rev. Ben Godsen | Average attendance: 119 | South Georgia Conference
AT A GLANCE Speedwell United Methodist Church | 7259 Skidaway Road, Savannah, GA 31406 | 912-354-2699 | email@example.com | speedwellumc.org | Rev. J. Michael Culbreth | Average attendance: 105 | South Georgia Conference
Written by Christine Kumar, a freelance writer and administrator, Baltimore Metropolitan District, Baltimore-Washington Conference. Send local church ministry ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published in Interpreter Magazine, November–December, 2016.