Church of God Bridges Food Gap for Akron Community
By Mykaela Alvey
Ellet Community Church of God has been faithfully serving its community for many years. Through the use of their food pantry, Ellet is continuing to bless their community in Christ’s name. However, just a few years ago, there was doubt as to whether the food pantry would continue serving the community. Thankfully, Ellet Community Church of God answered God’s calling and stepped up to serve.
Pastor Mitch Martin of Ellet Community said that their story with the food pantry began “seven years ago when members of the Ellet Community Church of God (including himself) began volunteering for the Food Cupboard at the Arlington Memorial Baptist Church.” According to Pastor Martin, this experience was eye-opening for the members of the church. They were able to see firsthand how many people needed help, people within their own community. So, they approached the church about supporting the Food Cupboard, which they faithfully did for many years.
Four years later, in January of 2021, Pastor Martin was approached about taking over as director of the food pantry, which he accepted after much prayer. This carried on for the next year. In February 2022, the church that housed the pantry announced they were merging with another church and the food pantry wasn’t “part of their new vision for ministry going forward.” Ellet Community Church was asked if they had the capability and the willingness to take over the pantry, and move it into their church building.
It didn’t take long for the church to make their decision. “The leadership of the Ellet Community Church of God knew the ministry and mission of the food pantry needed to continue in the Ellet Community,” Pastor Martin said. The church went to God in prayer over the decision. After prayer and confirmation from the Lord, the pantry was successfully moved to its new home at Ellet Community Church of God.
Ellet began serving the community through this new pantry in May 2022. It has been a tremendous blessing to the community. One of the most unique aspects of this food pantry is their “Door Dash”-style option. This is offered to help those who don’t have any transportation to be able to come to the church. They have also created an opportunity called “Senior Pantry,” through which they specifically serve those who are 60-plus.
“On average we serve over 700 families per month at Ellet Community Church of God, giving out, on average, 55,000 lbs. of food per month. In December alone, we served 896 families. In the nine months since the food pantry ministry has operated here at Ellet, we’ve given out over 536,000 lbs.”
It’s certainly a blessing to see how the community has been impacted in a positive way because Ellet Community Church of God chose to step out in faith to do what God asked. We can all learn something by their example. Like the Akron congregation understands, God’s mission field for us is where our feet are, loving our neighbors and community with Christ’s love.
Anderson University alumna Mykaela Alvey is a funding US missionary based in Greenwood, Indiana. A freelance writer for three years, she loves crafting stories of hope and healing.
Learn more about the Church of God movement at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.