- Faith & Family
Many churches have provided assistance and services for the poor and less fortunate. Many churches have even created their own feeding ministries to give regular assistance to those in need. But one church in Liberty City has expanded their efforts to feed “the flock.”
Glory Temple Ministries, founded in 2000, decided to start giving out meals at the end of every service. Since then demand has only grown. Now a church which draws about 125 worshippers somehow manages to provide groceries and meals to an average of 6,000 people every month.
“We noticed that every time we opened our doors more and more people would come,” said Rev. Ronae Cambridge of Glory Temple Ministries.
According to her husband, Bishop Franklin Cambridge, the desire to feed the community stemmed from a “very simple” concept.
“If I’m not hungry, I can go out and look for a job; if I’m not hungry, I can go out and find a mate; if I’m not hungry I can go out and find a house,” he explained. “But if I’m hungry then none of that is possible.”
His wife expands upon his theory using terms that are more often associated with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs — a pyramid that demonstrates that physiological needs such as the need for food, water and sleep must be met before humans will concern themselves with other needs ranging from security and relationships to morality.
“Unless the basic needs can be met, then people can’t be all that they can be,” she said.
Needing to give a bigger helping hand
The origins for Glory Temple Ministries food giveaway supplies were humble.
At first, food that was given away was bought by or supplied by the church’s members or charitable donations by local grocery stores. But in 2007, the Cambridges decided to formally structure their feeding ministry. Among their innovations was to become a distribution agency for Feeding South Florida, a non-profit food bank. Now half of the food that is given out is provided by the USDA and the church is able to provide boxes of up to 60 pounds of food for each person and 600 hot meals to those people who sign up to participate in their food distribution ministries. Food is largely given away on Thursdays although there is limited distribution done on Saturdays as well. And the programs that the church offers has been expanded to include two feeding programs: the Senior Harvest Program for senior citizens and the food program for patients suffering from HIV/AIDS, as well as a community soup kitchen and a community food pantry.
Of course, one of the problems with having a popular ministry is that demand often outstrips resources.
“We’re a small congregation and we try to make sure we have enough resources,” she said. “But we could use some help.”
Nonetheless, what Glory Temple Ministries provides continues to impact countless men, women and children.
Forty-year old Eaugene Edmonds has been relying on Glory Temples Ministries food services for almost a year now. She has appreciated the service that she received.
“They’re nice people and when you come here to Glory Temple, you’re in good hands and you’re welcomed,” Edmonds said.
By Kaila Heard