Local ministry

Steve and Jessica Gamble, right, stand in front of their truck along with volunteers from Belong Church. Photo by Woodrow Polston

For many people, Saturday mornings offer a much anticipated time of rest from the work week.

They typically have an opportunity to recuperate and sleep in for a while. But such is not the case for the members of Belong Church.

Steve Gamble, pastor of the newly formed church, says that his Saturday starts off around 6 a.m., as he leaves his home in Silex, Mo., and travels to New Hope Fellowship in High Ridge, Mo. Once there, Steve gets behind the wheel of a large refrigerated box truck that is full of food, and heads out to Louisiana, Mo. 

 Accompanied by his wife, Jessica, their six children, and a number of other members and volunteers, Steve gives away food at the Louisiana Elementary School between the hours of 10 a.m. and noon every Saturday of the month.

The food provided by New Hope Fellowship includes a week’s worth of milk, snack items, packaged fruits and other goods. The food is available to anyone that shows up. They don’t have to be a resident of Louisiana to receive them.

Steve noted that they are serving an increasing number of people as they distribute the food each week.  

“We have been coming out here to give away the food since the beginning of September, and the first Saturday that we were here, we served a total of 59 people. Today, we are serving an average of about 200 people every Saturday morning, and we continue to meet more and more new people as the weeks go by.” 

Steve is currently in the process of transitioning from his position as associate pastor, at Silex Assembly of God, to lead pastor of Belong Church in Louisiana. Although there are prospects being considered for a building to hold weekly services, the church has already begun meeting at a local residence in town.

“I have been involved in ministry for approximately 20 years,” Steve said. “I have served in worship ministry, youth ministry and also as associate pastor. We want to give people a place to belong. No matter what their background is, no matter what their current situation is. We want to be more than a church, we want to be a family, a home, a place where people truly feel that they belong.” 

The Belong Church vision involves partnering with Teen Challenge, Living Free and other organizations to help people who are struggling with addictions.

“Not only do we want to help people be delivered from their addictions, but (we want to) also be a resource for helping them find jobs, housing and other such important needs,” said Steve. 

They plan to continue the Saturday morning food distribution on a weekly basis, well into the next year.

Steve added that if anyone would like to come and receive the free food, he and his people would be happy to provide it at the Louisiana Elementary School.

For more information on the Belong Church, contact them on their Facebook page.

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