By Andrea McCann
Washington Times Herald
WASHINGTON — A dream is coming true for the congregation of Victory Tabernacle Church, 1419 W. Walnut St., which soon will open “Heaven’s Kitchen” to feed those in need.
The church now owns the property at 1614 W. Walnut St., according to Assistant Pastor B.J. Riley, and is turning it into a soup kitchen. He said he believes the building formerly housed a grocery store and a restaurant, so it had a kitchen in place. However, he said the building needed a lot of work, which people from the congregation and Lighthouse are currently doing.
“It’s come a long way just in the month or so we’ve had it,” Riley said.
“We had the vision for a while, but we just recently bought the building. We just kept believing in God. The people in the church really felt like the Lord wanted us to have it.”
The original asking price for the property was $30,000, he said, but then dropped to $10,500. There was a potential donor for the funds, but that person backed out. Still, the congregation didn’t give up.
“I felt like the Lord told me to give the first $1,000,” Riley said.
He made the donation and a speech at church one Sunday and others began to give as well.
“Before I knew it, we had $6,000,” he continued. “The guy that was gonna give was so touched by our people who don’t have a lot giving so much that he gave the rest, and we bought it outright. The Lord really worked a lot of miracles.”
Riley said they preach on and teach faith, and Heaven’s Kitchen shows that when the Lord puts something in the spirit it can come to fruition in the natural realm. He said they give Him all the glory for their outreach.
Though Heaven’s Kitchen is not yet open, there was a Thanksgiving meal, and Riley said parishioners took food to Boxtown, where the recipients were very thankful for it. The target date to open is after the first of the year, he said.
“We were gonna wait on the Thanksgiving thing, but the Bible says feed the hungry,” Riley said.
“We’re blessed with our outreach. We gave away food to 700 people in May.”
At an October giveaway, he said, there were probably 400 people.
The kitchen is still more or less in the vision stage, according to the assistant pastor, but they do plan to be open seven days a week and to minister especially to their neighbors in the West End.
He said he and Pastor Pete Aldrich would like to see the facility be a place where youth in the area can go after school for food, fun and fellowship, making it a good balance with PowerHouse on the other side of town.
“We’re still trying to put it into action,” he explained, adding they’ll probably start out slow, perhaps with one meal a day, and go from there.
They’re working with the Daviess County Health Department to make sure the kitchen meets the required standards and already have had some donations, according to Riley.
“We’ve had people from all over town, all kinds of businesses, want to donate food,” he said.
They’d like to see different churches in the area each provide volunteers to run the kitchen one day a week. Another hope is that local youth leaders will get involved with programming for after-school activities.
“Volunteers and donations are always good,” Riley stated matter-of-factly.
Anyone wishing to help further the mission of Heaven’s Kitchen can contact Victory Tabernacle Church.