Local church provides more than turkey for Thanksgiving

By Sam Rinderman
UNC Co-Editor
the Durham VOICE

Every Thanksgiving, families gather for the biggest meal of the year.  Unfortunately for some, the resources for the large, late-November feast are not so easy to afford.

But there is a reason they call it the season of giving.  On Saturday, Nov. 19, families in Durham gathered on the corner of North Alston Avenue and Liberty Street to receive their Thanksgiving turkeys.

Many local volunteers made the event happen. (Staff photo by Sam Rinderman)

Brian Duley, youth pastor of The World Overcomers Christian Church on 2933 S. Miami Blvd., said they provided all necessary resources for a proper Thanksgiving dinner to families all over the Triangle.

“We started in Raleigh this morning, Durham here, and were on our way to Chapel Hill.  Our goal, were going to be feeding over 1,300 families in the Triangle today,” Duley said.

World Overcomers Church has held a Thanksgiving food drive in the Triangle every year since it was founded in 2003, Duley said.

“The church started eight years ago.  We’re located in the Research Triangle Park area, and our families donate food, we give turkeys away, and it’s a full Thanksgiving meal just to bless people,” he said.

The church provided food to those who were sponsored, but extra meals were available in Durham, so a waitlist was created for the additional people who showed up on Saturday afternoon, Duley said.

Pastor Ashley Newkirk said the church sponsored 318 families in Durham.

“The people who were on the list, they’ve shown up, but of course, the community has shown up,” Newkirk said.  “We’ve had music, but the main thing is to make sure they receive a meal for Thanksgiving.”

Newkirk said the church wanted to provide a little bit of everything, including festivities. Frontline, the church’s band, performed spirituals for the families waiting in line.

“We want to make sure they receive a meal for Thanksgiving.  They’re getting turkey and all the sides,” Newkirk said.  “They’re getting stuffing, cornbread, macaroni and cheese.  They’re getting beats, string beans, corn and cranberry sauce, so they’re getting the works.  Right now I’m heading to Chapel Hill so I can feed 303 families over there.”

Pamela Stewart, a prayer team leader and volunteer with World Overcomers Christian Church, said the impact of prayer could go a long way during the holiday season.

“We are praying because we know what God can do.  We are believers, and anyone that comes to us that wants to talk to us, or pray with us, we’re there for them as sisters and brothers in Christ.  We know the power in God.” Stewart said.

Kyle Anderson, who is volunteering at all three Triangle locations, said there are many responsibilities in managing a successful food drive.

“I’m an all-around type of volunteer,” Anderson said.  “I’m handing out turkeys, I’m handing out groceries, I’m packing, I’m moving things, I’m helping to keep a good flow of people coming in and out and giving support to anybody that needs support, so I’m pretty much here just to do everything.”