At New Founders Missionary Baptist Church in Ennis, Pastor Von Carl Thomas has been praying for an opportunity to do a program like the Feed the Children project.

“This is something I’ve looked for a chance to do for a long time. Everything seemed to fall in place with this, with church working together and God has answered my prayers,” he said of the citywide effort involving business, community and church leaders in the planning stages.

The project will bring truckloads of boxes of food and toiletries to be distributed to needy local families through the charitable efforts of Ennis area individuals, families, churches and businesses during the four weeks before Christmas.

The idea of forming longer-lasting relationships with families in need is a hit with Thomas.

“It involves a monetary commitment and a commitment of continuing effort,” he said. “We hope and pray it won’t be just this program and then it’s over with, but we will continue to build relationships.”

At Fellowship in Him Ministry, co-pastor Mary Moseley said the group project fulfilled a need the church had to give.

“God had really put in our heart that we were going to knock on doors and give people bags on food,” she said. “Instead of doing this individually, we figured with Feed the Children, we could do this corporately as the Body of Christ.”

In addition to providing printing assistance, National Envelope was on board to provide some initial storage.

Three churches were set to be hubs for distribution to the other churches – First United Methodist, Tabernacle Baptist and St. John Catholic Church.

There are 41 churches of Ennis partnering one with the other, along with city, school, hospital and industry leaders

Jennifer Kingsley is the secretary for the group. She sees the community-wide effort that currently has an estimated 40 churches attending either the noon or evening meetings as particularly encouraging.

“I was pretty amazed – we’re getting more than half the churches in town and that’s pretty good,” she said.

At the first city-wide pastors’ meeting and dinner at Tabernacle Baptist Church, there were 30 present with 25 of those attending for the first time any meeting of the Ennis Regional Feed The Children Project, said organizer Pastor Lynn Godsey of Templo de Poder/Temple of Power.

“We were blessed to see a good cross section of pastors from every different area of our city, African-American, Anglo and Hispanics, but also of different denominations,” he said.

The majority of pastors/leaders cannot make the noon luncheons but will be attending the special pastors’ meetings at Tabernacle. The next night meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.

The project will have 20,000 color informational tri-fold brochures, 20,000 special donation envelopes and thousands of the identification form/cards that will be used to identify the needy individuals or families in the Greater Ennis Area.

Churches are encourage to send a representative during office hours to the Chamber of Commerce to pick up their packet of envelopes, brochures and cards

The target date to have all of the ID cards and donations in is no later than Oct. 8. That is also the last date that other churches can become participants being that the logistics sub-committee will have to have all information before hand for distribution to the distribution hubs.

An account has been established at Ennis State Bank for donations.

Contact J. Louise at jlouise.larson@wninews. com or at 469-517-1451.