COPPERAS COVE — Reaching the unreachable was the purpose of the “Bound in Love” Thanksgiving dinner at Bountiful New Life Church of God In Christ in Copperas Cove on Saturday.
With enough turkey and fixings for a small army, Pastor Andre Johnson, a retired Army combat engineer, and his church members were ready to feed everyone who walked through the door.
“We’re all about giving back to the community,” Johnson said.
Sharee Anderson, youth coordinator, said she approached Johnson with the idea for the meal and he said, “Go for it.”
“We are knitted together and bound in love. That’s where the name came from,” Anderson said.
The meal and decorations cost about $200. Church members spent two days preparing and cooking for 50 to 60 people.
What began two years ago as a group of nine members holding services in the Copperas Cove library has grown into a vibrant congregation of 20 families with almost 40 members, including 20 children.
“The youth is our main thrust,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s son, Jeremiah, 7, wanted to help at the dinner instead of playing in a school basketball game.
Known as the church comedian, Dominic Smith, 15, enjoys making people laugh and performing in the community.
He also helped at the dinner Saturday.
“It feels good to be a part of something bigger than you,” Smith said.
Those in need
Thomas White was grateful for the warm meal and fellowship.
“I met the pastor for the first time on the street and he invited me here,” White said. “I think it’s great how the church helps people like me.”
William Harmon also attended the dinner. He said he was struggling with day-to-day life when he met Johnson.
“The first time I met the pastor was the best day of my life,” Harmon said.
He enjoyed the holiday meal in the church he helped renovate.
“They have done so much for me, that I painted the walls,” he said.
Two large tubs filled with goods and nonperishable food sat ready for delivery to the Copperas Cove food center.
Members brought people from the homeless shelter to the church to enjoy the meal, and also delivered meals to the Cove fire and police departments.