LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The Hope Center Church in Mineral opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day to prepare a feast fit for a king or queen.
Pastor James Lewis Moore II tells 8News the effort was to ensure no one in community went hungry.
Revealing the Thanksgiving spread, Pastor Moore said the menu included a traditional turkey, ribs, and ham.
“Every side you can imagine. String beans, there are collard greens available, yams.”
Every church member cooked a dish for Thursday’s feast. Pastor Moore smoked the ribs and a turkey, telling 8News “I am really proud of my ribs.”
As for the motivation behind the event, Pastor says his church noticed a growing homeless population in town.
“In Mineral, they are living in the woods. In Mineral, they are living in abandoned cars,” he tells 8News.
“There is so much hunger, kids going to bed hungry,” add Gloria Coles, assistant Pastor.
It’s why Pastor Moore tells 8News the church had to do something.
“It is our responsibility, it is our assignment to reach out to those who are less fortunate,” he says. “We realize the work of the church is not sitting in pews but it’s out there in the fields.”
That mission is why volunteers also prepped to-go plates.
“There is a housing community across the street we have taken plates there. We’ve taken plates to some of the local area stores where people are working on Thanksgiving and they won’t get a chance to spend time with their family,” Pastor Moore said.
Inside the Hope Center Church, the feast is also about fellowship.
“Most of our family is out in California and we aren’t able to get out there this year,” said Bill Earhart. Thanks to the church, he and his wife didn’t have to be alone this Thanksgiving holiday.
“It’s nice to have someplace to go,” Earhardt said.
But what about the food? Those who spoke with 8News said the reviews were outstanding.
“Everybody has been very friendly and the food was delicious,” Earhart said.
Even Mineral’s Mayor stopped in for a bite and to take some plates to folks in need.
Speaking with 8News, Mayor Pamela Harlowe said of the food “it smells so good. Everything is homemade, the preacher (is) here, not only a preacher, the bishop but more, he’s a chef.”
It’s true. Pastor Moore did go to culinary school. He also makes and bottles his own BBQ sauce that he sells at the Mineral Farmer’s Market. Proceeds of the sales go to the church.
And if there are any leftovers, Pastor Moore plans to hit the road and deliver the food to people in the community.