This article ran in our local Coweta American newspaper yesterday. I wanted to share it here with my readers who know we do this ministry to give you a complete view of the operation. What an honor to be able to be Christs hands, feet, & heart in a very small way. Pictured in the back row, to the far right, is our wonderful Pastor Steve Lee. The two young girls in the front, without King's Kitchen t-shirts, are 2 grandchildren of one of our volunteer couples who came to help this day, one for Community Service credit and the other because she is such a blessing.
King’s Kitchen at Coweta Assembly serves food, offers friendship
Preparing and delivering meals to the community’s elderly and shut-ins is a labor of love for this group of volunteers with the King’s Kitchen at Coweta Assembly of God Church. Among those volunteering their time are, in random order, Tim and Jeanne Oswald, Betty Coyner, Jimmie and Nellie Arnold, John and Phyllis Rathbone, Kathy Robinson, Eunice Jordan, Ronnie Young, Tandra Moss, Maggie Mills, Kelli Hutchins, Frankie Horne, Athena Olden, Sherry Kelley, Kent Rife and Mickey and Susan Joyce. Not pictured are regular volunteers Joi Kilgore, Wantha Daton, Donna Weins, Tammy Stiles, Bill and Valerie Scott, Jane Rogers and Arlene Lamberson. CHRISTY WHEELAND/COWETA AMERICAN
KitIn February of 2010, volunteers at the Coweta Assembly of God Church began ministering to the shut in and elderly at their church by delivering meals to them once a week.
Now, more than two years later, the ministry has blossomed into the King’s Kitchen and serves dozens in the community with hot meals each Tuesday.
The King’s Kitchen is coordinated by Mickey and Susan Joyce and operated by a dedicated team of volunteers who shop for, prepare and deliver meals to nearly five dozen local residents.
But the Joyces know there are many more out there in Coweta who could benefit from the service.
“Our purpose is to serve widows, widowers and the elderly who could use someone to check on them at least once a week,” Mickey Joyce explained. “We know there are people out there who need help that we do not know about. That’s who we want to reach.”
“We were up to 55 people at one point and we’re down to around 44 now. Many people have passed away, gone into a nursing home or moved somewhere else to live with family,” he added.
Susan said when volunteers deliver meals, they simply stick their head in the door, ask if the individual needs anything and offers to pray for them.
“A lot of people feel like it’s charity, but we don’t want them to feel that way it all. Charity is not the point,” she noted. “It’s just that we care and want to check in on them and know they are okay. We put no pressure on them to go to church.”
Since the first meal was served, the King’s Kitchen has never missed a Tuesday with exception of snow days when school was closed down in 2011.
“What started with 15 of our own church members spread over into Carriage Crossing, then we picked up some meals at Coweta Manor,” Susan noted. “Even though they get meals there, we still serve them because they are related to someone in our church. It lets them know someone cares for them.”
While the church board earmarked $1,000 for the program in the beginning to see how it took off, that money has yet to be used.
“We have never spent one cent of that $1,000. We have had total support from the church membership on this with extra donations,” Mickey noted. “ Everyone knows it’s a need that pulls at their heart and they want to help. We are very proud of that.”
Sherry Kelley is the King’s Kitchen’s primary cook and develops the menu with help from Susan.
“We would be lost without Sherry,” Susan said. “She has been so supportive for us. She does the shopping, buys the food and keeps us under budget.”
On Monday evenings, a cooking crew comprised of Kelli Hutchins, Frankie Horne, Athena Olden, Tammy Stiles, Bill and Valerie Scott and Jane Rogers help prepare the main course for Tuesday’s meal when needed.
Members of the Young at Heart Senior Adult Ministry prepare desserts each week on a rotating basis.
Meal deliveries are made by five teams of two people who help fill and seal trays, load delivered chests and run routes. They voluntarily furnish their own transportation and fuel.
Delivery teams include Tim and Jeanne Oswald, Betty Coyner, Jimmie and Nellie Arnold, John and Phyllis Rathbone, Kathy Robinson, Eunice Jordan, Ronnie Young, Joi Kilgore, Wantha Deaton and Donna Weins.
Kent Rife is called the King’s Kitchen’s right hand man. The Joyces say he organizes supplies, helps with cooking and boxing desserts and fills in whenever needed to deliver.
Local school teacher Arlene Lamberson volunteers with the program each summer in whatever capacity she is needed.
The Joyces say while meals delivered by the King’s Kitchen help meet the nutritional needs of recipients, the visits by volunteers often meet an emotional need as well.
“If you are elderly and don’t get out and you’re at home all week long, just knowing someone is coming over every Tuesday around noon, you know they appreciate it,” the Joyces noted.
As an added gesture of friendship, the kitchen group sends a birthday card and ice cream on the Tuesday closest to each meal recipient’s birthday. They also deliver carnations to all of the women the week before Mother’s Day.
All meals are on the road by 11 a.m. for delivery by 12 Noon. Approximately one-fourth of the 44 meals delivered in mid-March were to couples – the rest go to individuals.
The meal service area is 71st Street to the north, Oneta Road to the West, the Arkansas River to the south and the Muskogee Turnpike to the east.
If anyone knows of someone who would benefit from receiving meals each Tuesday from the King’s Kitchen, contact the Coweta Assembly of God office at 918-486-3110.