A few years ago, Albert and Kathryn Miller, of First Baptist Church of Monterey, were led by God to serve the church’s neighbors in need through an outreach program.
Meanwhile, three couples from Florida felt called to move to Middle Tennessee after retiring from their careers in the Miami area. When these couples, Bruce and Beth Nelson, Jim and Livia McCracken, and Hugh and LaVonne Thompson, met the Millers, it wasn’t long before the Monterey Mission Center was born in the former parsonage house of the church, located at 701 South Holly Street in Monterey, Tenn.
“We just really felt God’s hand in all of this,” Beth said, “because we wanted to start a food ministry in Homestead. So when we found out what the Millers wanted to do here, we just dived in.
“We just really felt God brought us here for a purpose, and we just believe that this is it. It’s one of those things that God orchestrates that you can look back on and say, ‘Wow!’”
The Monterey Mission Center is committed to meeting the needs of the community through the grace and love of Jesus Christ.
The center began in March of 2011 by helping about 50 families every two weeks, and now has grown to help more than 200 families every two weeks. It is one of about 150 partner agencies supplied by Feed America First.
Monterey Mission Center offers prayer, counseling, food, clothing and education to the families they serve. They distribute food on the second and fourth Fridays every month, from 9 a.m. until noon.
Just one of the people served by MMC is little Brooklyn, who is two years old. Brooklyn lives with Renee and Jerry, the only parents she knows.
“She was taken from my sister when she was 3 weeks old,” Renee said. Originally Brooklyn was put into foster care, but Renee and Jerry were able to gain custody of her.
Jerry works as a drywall hanger, but work has been slow over the past few years, so the family turned to Monterey Mission Center for help.
“He has been out of work for two months at a time,” Renee said. “So it has helped out a lot – we have two sons, too. We’re able to pay our car insurance and other bills, and we don’t have to buy as much food.”
This is just one of an estimated 22,000 families served each month by Feed America First through our partner agencies, including the Monterey Mission Center.
For more information about MMC, call (931) 584-0046.