God's Lemonade Stand

Friday, September 15, 2006

God's Lemonade Stand is helping feed and tend to the spiritual needs of the poor.

Rick Stephens and his wife, Cathy Stephens, began their selfless ways by transporting people for Tenncare, and became more concerned when hearing the dilemma of the passengers who had to choose between groceries and needed medicines.

The door opened for them to start a food pantry last year during a great time of need, the Katrina hurricanes. Originally, this is where their food went, and since, they have been able to focus locally.

The food pantry's unique name was inspired by a friend of Rick Stephens. He was sitting on the porch with his family, when a drunk driver went off of the road, killing his mother and brother. He went to the jail and told the driver that he forgave him and had mercy on him. Stephens was amazed by this and asked his friend how he was getting through it, to which he replied, " When God hands you a lemon, make lemonade."

God's Lemonade Stand fed 87 families last Thanksgiving and provided 37 families with food and toys on Christmas. Stephens have 300 on file they fed last year, some of which are repetitive, bringing his estimate to 1,500 people. This amazing amount of help is all done through donations and love offerings. The Stephens appreciate the help they get from Tom Henry at Feed America First and Feed the Children.

" The last donation from feed the Children was 10,000 lbs. and it goes quick," said Cathy Stephens.

The food pantry is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, from 11am to 5pm, by appointment only. Along with food, Rick Stephens also provides spiritual interviews to discern spiritual needs.

God's Lemonade Stand will be holding a food drive in front of WAXO Studios, and hope to hold a food drive at homecoming next week, with the competing sports teams also competing to see who can raise the most food.

God's Lemonade Stand, located at 1400 Robin Hood Rd., Lewisburg, also houses the non-denominational church, In Christ Fellowship. Rick Stephens is ordained by two ministries, Full Gospel and Liberty Fellowship. Stephens also has a diploma in theology.

" I teach new creation realities, revealing your identity in Christ. A combination of Great Commandment and Great Commission," said Stephens.

His vision is to make God known in Lewisburg and Marshall County through producing passionate disciples for Jesus Christ. The church deals with being a worshipper, a missionary, a healer, a learner, and an equipper.

In Christ Fellowship currently has 30-40 members, and usually 60 in attendance. Services are at 10:30am and 6pm Sundays and 6pm Wednesdays. Sunday evening is a class called Victorious Christian Living, which is discipleship training, and Wednesday evening is prayer and bible study.

" Everyone is welcome," said Stephens," God loves everyone the same. Not the sin, but the individual because his kindness brings us to repentance."

In Christ Fellowship stays as busy as the food pantry. The church has a TV program on WAXO, Sundays at 5pm, called Generations. Open mic night, a gospel celebration, will be held this Saturday at 7pm.

" If you can sing or play, please come," said Stephens.

In Christ Fellowship is currently looking for a worship leader. Stephens may be reached at 931-270-6337.