Community lunch moving: Meals to be served at St. Rest Baptist Church

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The community lunch named in honor of the late Betty Rose Watts has been moved to St. Rest Baptist Church due to renovation of the fellowship hall at First United Methodist Church in Minden.

Jennifer Thomas, volunteer with the community lunch, says even though it’s being moved, it is still a great time for anyone to share in food, fun and fellowship.

“On both sides, we’re real excited about it,” she said.

The menu for this month, set for Thursday, May 21, will be jambalaya and all the fixings with entertainment. The lunch will be in the multipurpose building at St. Rest, located at 611 East Union St.

Even though the lunch is being moved temporarily, Thomas says this is a great opportunity for more people to come join in this ministry of service.

Betty Rose Watts started the community lunch in 2013 as her calling to “feed the people.”

“She just had this calling on her heart that she felt the Lord put her there to serve people that needed a good meal,” Thomas said. “It has become a wonderful ministry for our community that happens once a month.”

Anyone is welcome to come eat lunch, no matter a person’s background or financial status. She says they serve roughly 150 to 175 people at each lunch. The cost to prepare each meal is roughly $300 to $350 per month but it is free of charge to the community. Monetary donations are welcomed though, Thomas said.

“It can be anybody,” she said. “We really encourage leaders in the community and businesses to come and see it and be a part of it.”

Watts passed away Jan. 2 after a brief battle with cancer; however, her legacy to serve the people is continuing through this ministry.

“Betty Rose taught me and other volunteers just the joy of serving,” Thomas said. “She always wanted to make it special. The tables are set like your grandmother would set them. They are properly set with a place mat; she always wanted to make things real special.”

It is not just a ministry of FUMC Minden. It is a community effort as volunteers from other churches come to volunteer their time to help with the meal. People from all walks of life come and enjoy the meal, entertainment and fellowship.

Thomas says the Rev. Brian Mercer and the Rev. Ben Martin will be in attendance.

“We’re glad to have them,” Martin said. “It’s one indication that we can work across denominational lines and across racial lines for the common good. We would welcome this being a regular thing. The purpose of (our) building is to reach out to the community, and our position has been if somebody is doing something we should be doing but are not doing, we’ll cooperate with them to help them do it in our facility.”

Lunch will be served from noon until 1 p.m. For those who wish to volunteer, they may do so by preparing a dessert or cookies for the guests. Volunteers are also needed to help cook and serve. Thomas says someone would be happy to sit down and visit with anyone about the ministry and any church’s potential involvement.

Thomas and Martin say this is just a temporary move. For more information, contact Thomas at FUMC Minden at 377-1483 or jennifer@mindemmethodist.org.

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