To inspire the spirit of giving throughout the community this holiday season, Trinity Baptist Church hosted its annual Thanksgiving meal giveaway at Auburn’s downtown pavilion Saturday, Nov. 20

This year, church members and volunteers passed out 1,000 pre-packaged Thanksgiving dinners to area residents on a first-come, first-served basis to honor the memory of late church member David Mullinax, who started the tradition seven years ago. Donated by church members, the meals included holiday staples like turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and cranberry sauce.

Also at Saturday’s event was Trinity Baptist’s annual “Angel Tree,” which is set up for families in need to put their children’s names on so that members of the church and community at-large can pick a name from the tree and buy presents for the child whose name they picked, said church past Frankie Green.

Motorists passing through Auburn’s downtown area on Saturday afternoon likely noticed the enthusiasm of those on the receiving end of the church’s outreach over recent years, who attended this year’s event with homemade signs they held at the road to help pass out meals.

“They don’t go to our church but we’re open to all the churches that want to be involved with us,” said Green. “We’re just trying to let everybody know that God is love. That’s what it’s about.”

With the motto, "where you'll become part of the family,” Trinity Baptist Church has grown from eight members when it opened its doors 12 years ago, to about 120 members today. Pastor Green and his wife, Petey, believe the recent growth is a direct result of the outreach efforts they put forth throughout the year.

For example, every second Saturday of each month at 11 a.m., a ladies’ prayer meeting is held as well as a visitation ministry for those too sick to leave their homes. Every third Sunday of the month at 8 a.m. the church offers “Brotherhood Breakfast” for men and its “Driven Youth” ministry meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m.

To maximize its outreach, the church offers a bus ministry to provide those in need a safe ride to its services. According to youth pastor Craig Riddle, the bus ministry has made a particularly significant impact on local youth. Out of the 45 kids in the group, the church provides transportation to about 20 of them, said Riddle.

As a whole, Trinity Baptist Church’s outreach initiative “is to do nothing but let the world know that God loves us and still wants to provide for us,” said Green. “That’s all we’re after.

“With everything that’s going on in our world, it’s good to just stop and realize that God is still in control and that he still has things in his hands.”

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