Leptondale Bible Church in Newburgh held its first ever free community Thanksgiving dinner at their gymnasium off route 300 Saturday.
The event was so successful, that it is likely to become an annual event.
With plans to feed more than 300, the church and its approximately 60-volunteers prepared over 20 turkeys in three different styles: fried, smoked and baked, as well as all the trimmings of a traditional Thanksgiving meal.
“God really drove us to do this type of community outreach after our school of 35-years closed,” Lucia O’Dowd, wife of Pastor Mike O’Dowd and a primary organizer of Saturday’s dinner said. “We first began discussing this type of event in the spring and its really allowed us to get to know our community and the community us.”
The church utilized every possible forum from newspapers, to radio stations, to digital and word of mouth to make the community aware of the dinner. It also held a fall fest last month which drew approximately 250 people.
While all the volunteers played important roles in making the day a huge success, O’Dowd singled out a few in particular including Martin King the cook, whose cooking did his talking. King, per O’Dowd is used to cooking for large groups of people and was “the go to guy anytime the church did a food-based event.”
“It was amazing people just really came together to help make this happen,” O’Dowd said of the slew of volunteers.
“This is really a community church and we are here for them,” O’Dowd said. “We want to be seen as a refuge for the community and to honor god’s word with the goal of loving our neighbors.”
Succulent homemade pies finished off the meal which O’Dowd said would likely become an annual event.
The church also has plans for other community events including a church in the park event slated for spring or early summer. The church years go from July-June and planning and budgeting for annual and first time events begins in March.
Leptondale Bible Church offers a wide-range of ministries and services including Sunday school at 9:30, Worship beginning at 11 a.m. and a series of specialized services for men, women, children, seniors and adolescents.
For more information contact the church at 566-1113 or visit Leptondale.org.