8th year for local giving tradition

More than 400 people got the gift of a free Christmas dinner today. This is the eighth year Benton’s First Baptist Church has done the event.

For Carolyn Borders, serving Christmas dinner to strangers and some familiar faces is a priority. “We just plan our Christmas around this,” she said. At First Baptist of Benton, a group of more than 75 volunteers welcomes anyone for any reason to come and enjoy some turkey. Borders tells me: “We’re celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ and we’re doing it by feeding people who maybe don’t have any food or anywhere to go on Christmas Day.”

Church Pastor says the volunteers benefit from the day, too. “This meal today is about feeding people who really are hungry. It’s about meeting the needs of people that need some family at this time because there’s a hunger there,” he added.

For Coye McCurry and Bob McCuiston, this was a lesson that there is a great need out there. After delivering food, they say their hearts are full. “For the few seconds that we’re there, we bring them joy,” McCurry said.

The church delivers to anyone in a 5 mile radius. Before the doors opened, they had already delivered more than 80. “We had one gentleman that we delivered to that had not had a Christmas in 26 years,” McCurry said.

Pastor Wilson says it’s not just his church. More than 15 people from the community came out to lend a hand. 

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