I had been noticing for weeks now what looks like a real fun party taking place every Monday or so beside the Tractor Supply store on East Paige Avenue, but I hadn’t taken the initiative to actually pull into the lot and see what all the hubbub was about until this past Monday evening.
Before I even pulled into the parking lot, I heard the laughter floating on the air. I could see tables lined up and people mingling in small groups—some eating, some simply hanging out, some doling out the plates of hot Sloppy Joe sandwiches and chips, and some preparing food in the back of a huge box truck that was also filled with coats, tents, and other items the group would be handing out to every person in need that evening.
I could tell it was some sort of community outreach program, but I wouldn’t expect this much fun to be on the menu. I could see smiles on practically every face, even in the dimming light.
Danny Jones and Regis Crenshaw were two of the many big-hearted volunteers there that evening from Second Baptist Church. These kindhearted souls regularly serve up hot meals, essential items, and an abundance of God’s love and acceptance every Monday evening in the side parking lot of the Tractor Supply.
“Every Monday—rain, sleet, it don’t matter, holidays or anything,” Jones said. He and Crenshaw were inviting, boisterous, hilarious, and seemed to be having more fun than anyone. It definitely set a wonderful vibe and made the whole event seem much more like a real, live gathering of loved ones, and much less like a community outreach.
Crenshaw is an Associate Pastor at the church, which is located at 210 W. Mill St. in Malvern. Jones and Crenshaw are both directors of the Reach One meal event, which is one of several programs they are involved with through the church’s multiple ministries.
Jones explained that their Second Chance Recovery program, with cooperation from the local Circuit Court, was a primary outreach program that put them in direct contact with people in the community who were struggling with addiction and related issues.
“We were doing that at the church, then COVID hit and everybody started doing Zoom,” Jones said. “And I said, let’s go to the streets, so we came out here. Thank God they let us sit out here.”
Read the full story in Wednesday's Feb. 7 newspaper edition.