During these economically trying times, people of every economic standing are depending more and more on the help and guidance of others. At the First Baptist Church of Charlotte, they are providing just that: a wholesome, inexpensive meal to satisfy hunger followed by a worship service to satisfy the soul.
First Baptist’s Power Lunch, held every Wednesday from 11:30-12:30 p.m., has become widely popular over the 20 years they’ve been hosting it. Generally between 250-350 people show up every week to enjoy lunch and an uplifting message from the Pastor.
“We hope to provide folks with more than just a good meal,” said Associate Pastor Christopher Thompson. “We also want to uplift them with God’s word in the middle of their work week.”
The Power Lunch, whose name comes from the power of God’s word, is led by volunteers of the church. It provides a hot meal for $5 with entrees such as linguini with chicken or shrimp, salmon and crab cakes. Its also paired with a side salad, bread and a dessert. Served cafeteria style, those who attend take their meal into the fellowship hall where they can enjoy their lunch while listening to the message.
Elisa Ching-Gary has been coming to the Power Lunch for three years and doesn’t plan to stop. “I keep coming back because it’s a great meal and a positive message and you’re made to feel very welcome,” said Ching-Gary. “It’s a nice thing to have to break up the work week.”
The Power Lunch caters to those who are coming during their work lunch break and are very time conscious. Lunch lasts for 45 minutes and the message is given for 15 minutes as the Pastor is mindful of those who have to get back to work.
But the Power Lunch is not just for those who are on a lunch break. A variety of people attend and the church likes it that way.
“We have a great diversity of people from all walks of life,” said Pastor Thompson. “In fact, only three to five percent of the people who come are members of the church. It’s a great way for our church to have outreach in the community.”
Randall Staton still comes after 10 years. “I started coming when I was working downtown,” said Staton. “But even after I retired, I still kept coming. I’m not a member, but I really enjoy the lunch and fellowship.”
IF YOU WANT TO GO:
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: First Baptist Church of Charlotte