Monday, May 7, 2012

Secret Ballot Forces Franklin County Food Pantry to Close Its Doors

May 7, 2012

Typical Monthly Food Pantry
Box of Food Provided to Needy Families
BUDE, MS - The Franklin Baptist Association Food Pantry will close its doors effective May 28, 2012.  Only 13 Churches out of 22 Baptist Churches associated with the Franklin Baptist Association attended the Spring Association Meeting which was held on April 16th at the Bude Baptist Church.  As part of that meeting a motion was made and seconded to close the Food Pantry and divert the monies used for the Food Pantry to hire an Associational Mission Director in addition to funding other ministry programs.  After a lengthy discussion from the floor, a secret ballot vote was held allowing only the pastors and their pastor messengers representing their church to vote.  The vote was 24 in favor of closing and 17 opposed. Yes, you read the count correctly as 41 pastors or pastors messengers voted even though only 13 out of the 22 Baptist churches were present.  The many non paid volunteers, that have given of their time and effort over many years to operate the Food Pantry, were left wondering what 'ministry program' had they been operating over these many years.  Some volunteers have given of their time, talent and effort for over 12 years ... through thick and thin times but always with a cheerful face and a sense of pride that they were able to 'minister' to the less fortunate whom look to the Food Pantry for some assistance. 

A volunteer and Food Pantry Manager, Mr. Charles Calcote said "the volunteers here at the Food Pantry are saddened and regret the closing of this important ministry.  It has been a joy and a privilege to serve the many residents of Franklin County.  Our prayer today is that it will be in operation again to help but it will take the Churches of Franklin County doing their part in giving financially, on a monthly basis to this ministry, in order for the food to be bought and given to the needy"  One Volunteer said 'this is a ministry of love that we volunteers do; but to turn it into a paid position is so disheartening. Is one salary worth the cost of the good we have done in our County?'  Many others stood by shaking their heads in agreement.  

Mr. Calcote also suggested that any interested party that would like to voice an opinion or further discuss closing the Food Pantry; contact any of the following persons:  Mr Brad Moak 601-384-5462; Mr Leon Wallace 601-384-5925; or Mr. Marvin Howard 601-384-2581 or 601-384-7493 or The Franklin Baptist Association, 122 Holly ST N, Bude, MS 39630 601-384-2759 

Source: FCNews STaff / Interview