BEAUMONT, Texas — The rain and cold did not stop a church in Beaumont from handing out hundreds of turkeys to help those in need.
Cars lined the streets in downtown Beaumont as Redemption Church held its fourth annual Turkey Day Giveaway. The body of believers raised enough money to buy 500 turkeys to hand out.
"It's an opportunity for us to be able to give back to our community," Pastor Byron Ellis, lead pastor of Redemption, said.
Members of the church wanted to help the Southeast Texas community amid increasing food costs. One of the goals of Saturday's event was to put happiness back into holidays.
"People shouldn’t be worried about feeding their family on thanksgiving, so we want to be able to be a blessing and give back," Pastor Ellis said.
Pastor Ellis said God is the most generous giver, so the desire for them to serve the community comes from him.
"The desire to be able to give back and to help serve our city and to feed families, that desire comes from the Lord Jesus," he said. "God is the most generous that there is. So if we want to be like Jesus, we're most like Jesus when we give."
To help as many people as possible, church members did all they could to let the community know about the giveaway.
"We did more door-to-door inviting," Pastor Ellis said. "Our teams went out, knocked on doors. We personally invited people. We got to pray with people in their homes, and in the neighborhoods and different apartments."
Church members believe with all that God has done for them, it is only right that they do for others as well.
"For us, we believe we have received so much from God," Pastor Ellis said. "He has loved. He has forgiven us. He has saved. He has redeemed us. He has blessed us. He has forgiven us for all of our sins."
Pastor Ellis recalled the bible passage that speaks of Jesus feeding 5,000 people with just a few fish and loaves.
"What's really fascinating, as we give away 500 turkeys, one will feed about a family of 10," Pastor Ellis said. "So today, we are going to feed about 5000 people just like Jesus did. So our inspiration to give back comes from the bible."
Church members believe that it is not about how much a person can give, just that they do so with a giving heart. They feel it is more about focusing on what you do have rather than what you don't.
"Everybody can do something," Pastor Ellis said. "Generosity is not about the amount it's about the heart. Some people can give more. Some people can give less, but everybody can give back."
The turkey day giveaway may be over, but anyone who wants to help the church can still do so.
"If you’d like to buy a turkey, you can go to our website, redemtiontx.com/give and you can reimburse us for a turkey if you’d like," Pastor Ellis said. "If you want to just get involved in with what we’re doing, we do multiple outreaches very similar to this with other local nonprofits or other outreaches throughout."
Those who would like to learn more can visit the church's website or follow them on social media.
Pastor Ellis believes the best way to learn about the church and how you can give back to the community through it is by going in person to see for themselves.
"We have three services on Sunday, 8:30, 10, and 11:30. We're in downtown Beaumont," Pastor Ellis said.
The church is located at 601 Park Street.
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