Love Reaches Out To Birmingham, AL For Christmas

By , February 27, 2002

On Friday, December 7, 2001 at the Allied Van Lines warehouse in Birmingham, AL, thousands gathered to receive an outpouring of love through a miracle of food and toys for the Christmas season. “Proving that you can’t out give God,” is the explanation given by Doctor Raymond F. Culpepper, Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Church of God as this holiday miracle took place. More than twenty churches, ministries and charities took part in the distribution of five semi tractor-trailers loaded with food, toys, clothing, books and supplies to Alabama families in need.

It started when the congregation of the Metropolitan Church of God, responded through their Love Reaches Out Program, partnering with Operation Compassion to send money and much needed items to the victims of the terrorist attack on New York City. “From that reaching out to New York City, much like the story of Jesus distributing the loaves and fishes, our gifts were multiplied and sent back to Birmingham,” says Robert Needham, Metropolitan Ministry Elder and Project Coordinator. With an estimated value of more than $500,000 in those trucks, the problem became, “where to put it all until it could be distributed. Thanks to the donation of warehouse space and forklift personnel by Don Cole and the folks at Associated Moving & Storage Co., Inc. (Allied Van Lines) the task was made simple”, according to Needham.

Several churches and organizations in counties throughout Alabama received items from this effort. In Jefferson, Hale, Green and Perry Counties, Cross Walk for Revival Ministry, lead by Paul Schweigert had already begun to distribute food, toys, clothing and other supplies to families affected by the recession and recent layoffs. Young Life in Birmingham received more than four pallets of baby food, formula, diapers and clothing for more than one hundred high school single mothers for Christmas. Micah Andrews, Youth Pastor at Metropolitan Church, said “that its international outreach, called Operation Smile, in Trinidad, West Indies received toys for eighteen children’s first Christmas in this new orphanage.”

Phillip Harris, Minister of Children at Metropolitan Church and Pastor of Metro’s Urban Ministries, said “both toys and food will go to over eighty-five children in the Birmingham Metro area who attend Saturday Sunday School in their communities.” According to Reverend Ronnie Hays of Christmas on the River Ministry, “more than thirty children of families on the Warrior River area received toys and food items for Christmas.” Turning Point Foundation which provides a drug and alcohol recovery ministry received “kitchen equipment and some food items”, explained Chip Edwards, Director.

Expressing his appreciation, Pastor Culpepper stated, “Operation Compassion is a ministry of Christ – it duplicates His work of touching hurting people. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to team with you in giving’ a cup of cold water’ to the thirsty in our city.”

Tim Burdashaw
Communications Coordinator

Anyone interested in donating finances or products or providing a corporate lead may contact:

Operation Compassion
David Lorency, President

114 Stuart Road, NE
Suite 370
Cleveland, TN 37312
423.728.3932 – Office
423.596.4200 – Fax

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