Led by Shalene Valentine and family, our mission work with Kelly Lawson (main evangelist) Main Street Church of Christ continues its blessed evangelism outreach. In a community engulfed by poverty, crime and instability, Main Street strives to be the light in a world of darkness. It is clear from the Main Street website that the congregation is serious about doing Our Father’s business. In June 2019, the congregation website had 374 visits and over 1 million listens from around the globe. The site is packed with lessons (video and audio), testimonies, congregational updates, images and resources. They have a link to their own YouTube Channel. There is also a link to their Sunday AM radio broadcasts. Main Street is not bashful regarding the Church’s financial status. All members of the church’s evangelism team are unpaid volunteers.
For several years, Skillman has partnered with Main Street to provide meals to the congregation and community. The Church opens its door 6 days a week to serve meals to the houseless, police friends and community workers. Skillman allocates a monthly stipend to aid Main Street in this endeavor. These funds cover the costs for bowls, plates, cups, utensils and napkins. Main Street relies on donation from individuals, groups and businesses to cover the cost of bread, meat and snack for some of the meals. After Sunday worship service attendees gather for a fellowship meal feeding about 400 poor & senior citizens the best meal they will get all week. Currently, 150 are served in the building and 100 to-go plates are taken to sick and shut-ins. As each person sits for a meal, they are able to connect and fellowship with one another in a safe, conditioned environment. They are also surrounded by the love of the Church shown through warm hospitality, care, concern and service. Finally, a special 150 plates are created for “buggy & street people”- those who won’t sober up and come to church.
Skillman members are also afforded the opportunity to aid the ministry at Main Street as individuals. Volunteers have committed to prepare and help serve lunch for the Main Street Fellowship Meal. It begins with a simple list where members sign up and download the recipe for a casserole. The casserole is simple but has specific requirements for uniformity and health reasons. This is the perfect vehicle for home cooks to use their blessings and gifts to bless others.
On the first Sunday of each month, Shalene and family bring salad and gather the casseroles for transport from Skillman to the Main Street kitchen. They meet with a group of Skillman volunteers at Main Street to prepare plates to be served at lunch. Plates consist of the casseroles, salad and desert. After worship service at Main Street has concluded, members of the Church and community gather in a few “church dining rooms” near the kitchen to be served. Instead of shuffling through a line, attendees are seated while freshly made plates are hand delivered by “wait-staff.”
2019 has been rough for the Mainstreet as Kelly Lawson suffered from pneumonia and a heart attack during the first part of the year. While he was out, the remaining staff took on more roles and stepped up for sermons so that the Congregation could move forward while Kelly recovered. Kelly was able to resume preaching duties in late June. Shelene was also able to engage Skillman volunteers (including the youth and teens) to provide special desserts on a few Sundays at lunch.
The relationship between Skillman and Main Street is one that continues to bless all that become involved. If you would like to prepare a casserole or experience lunch service, click here to sign up.