By Rebecca Shipman
In June of 2019, Rev. Gary Russell, pastor of Greater Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, was contemplating scripture during devotions when he came to Mark 6:37, in which the people looked to Jesus to feed the hungry, “But he answered, ‘You give them something to eat’”. Jesus looked to the people to give what they had to offer. Pastor Russell recognized that he and his congregation had the resources and they needed to serve their community.
In July of 2019, the last grocery store in Northeast Oklahoma closed. The store closure caused a nine square-mile food desert, which included Greater Mt. Pilgrim Baptist Church and the community it serves. With the Lord’s word resonating in his head, Pastor Russell knew what needed to be done: “You give them something to eat”.
The Greater Mt. Pilgrim congregation sprang into action to help serve their community. That very summer, parishioners started a community...