Marvelous Mondays Make a Difference for Anderson Families
By Adrian Powell
Sherman Street Church of God in Anderson has a long history of community involvement, beginning with its founding in 1930. Some of the leaders of Sherman Street are well-known in the broader movement, including Edward Foggs, Clifton Morgan, Richard Goode, as well as their current pastor, Ragen Mitchell.
I first became personally acquainted with their ministry while I was attending Malone College in the late 1970s, and my girlfriend (now wife) telling me about what a difference it made to her and those friends in the Anderson College vocal ministry group, “The Fruit of the Spirit,” to have an opportunity to not only worship, but also enjoy a home-cooked meal each Sunday after morning service at Sherman Street.
Fast-forward forty years, and we find that Sherman Street is continuing to minister to families in their community by word and deed through their “Marvelous Mondays” ministry, directed by Sister Benita Holbert. Not only do they provide spiritual development to children of their neighborhood, but once a month they provide families a hot meal on top of maintenance of instruction through virtual Bible instruction.
Even though COVID-19 has restricted their ability to meet in person, they have not allowed the pandemic to hinder their efforts to provide the children they minister to with practical knowledge of the gospel, and unconditional love and acceptance by putting their love into action.
Sister Holbert feels it’s important that people understand that it is not merely people from Sherman Street or even Anderson, but that they have volunteers who drive in each week from Noblesville, Carmel, and Fort Wayne to help. “These kids need us. It’s what we are supposed to be about as the church.”
In September, they provided hot meals to thirty-five families, as well as care packages with crafts, books, school supplies, and treats. In October, the program delivered hot pizza to those families, as well as sixty packages of needed PPE, including masks, hand sanitizer, snacks, games, and prayer journals. Volunteer Rico Tsujimoto says, “We’ve seen many lives changed through Marvelous Mondays. We have kept three families from eviction by networking with other agencies to get them help for rent and utilities paid which would have displaced ten of our kids.”
With the upcoming holidays the program is planning to increase their help to forty families as they will deliver a dinner from Lee’s Chicken as a Thanksgiving meal, and their Angel Tree program for the Christmas season, which they hope will be able to sponsor the sixty girls and boys with a top, a pair of slacks or pants, and a wish list item that they would be thrilled to receive.
It is not only the children that they are providing for, but also the families of those same children. They have been and will be delivering personal care items, that we often give no thought to, but can be luxuries to families that struggle to meet their needs on a weekly basis. They provide meals at the end of the month because that is typically when the funds for these families run out. The program can use both material and monetary donations to extend the love of Christ to these families.
If you would like to help or want to sponsor a child, contact Benita Holbert at 765-617-6445.
Adrian Powell is pastor of Faith Community Church of God in Grove City, Ohio. He has been published in the Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Call and Post, Columbus Post, and Vital Christianity. He has also authored two books: The Jubilee Harvest and Resident Aliens: A Living Faith in a Hostile World, available from Amazon.com.
Learn more about the Church of God at www.JesusIsTheSubject.org.