A small local church is trying to make a big difference in the lives of families in need this Thanksgiving.
Destiny Ministeries holds services in the Marcus Cinema on Hill Road in Pickerington every Sunday.
Pastor Darryl Baker is quick to point out, however, a house of worship is not about bricks and mortar, but about the people who join together to form a community.
Baker wants his community to make an impact on the greater community by giving 20 area families a full Thanksgiving dinner.
"One of our desires is not to just feed people spiritually, but also minister to their natural needs," Baker said.
Called "Love in Action," Baker said the idea for the non-denominational church's Thanksgiving outreach program came from a scripture passage in the Bible whereupon Jesus feeds the multitudes.
He said he has seen plenty of evidence that such a program is needed in this area.
"A lot of people in our congregation are financially challenged, this economy is hitting everybody," Baker said.
"I had a job myself and was downsized. But even though they may be going through hard times themselves, they can always find somebody else to help," he said.
"This is an opportunity for us to help someone that has even more difficulties. For those people, Thanksgiving might be a stretch or even non-existent this year," said Baker.
Baker said the target area his church is focusing on to provide the dinners will be the eastern side of Columbus, including (but not limited to) Pickerington, Reynoldsburg, Groveport and Canal Winchester.
"We want to get word out to families that are in need of support or those who can recommend such families and we (also) want to invite any individuals, groups or stores that want to partner with us in this endeavor," Baker said.
He said the goal will be to distribute the ready-made dinners on Nov. 18, which is the Sunday prior to Thanksgiving.
"We're going to provide a complete meal in a box that so (people) can just heat it up," said Baker, adding that the meals will feed a family of four to five.
Baker said Destiny Ministries, at 6 months old, is "a new dynamic church" that is gaining a foothold in the community.
"We think outside the box and we're willing to do anything so people's lives can be changed for the better," he said.
A native of Gary, Ind., Baker lives in Pickerington with his wife, Patrice.
They have three grown children, all graduates of Pickerington High School Central.
Baker himself is a graduate of Florida A&M with a degree in business.
He has been working in ministry for years, first volunteering with teens and young adults and then prisoners.
Baker said ministering to his own congregation has been a rewarding challenge.
"It's a lot of work for a new church," he said. "Most people equate being small with meaning we don't get things done. We feel we're young but we can do things with a spirit of excellence," Baker said.
To donate either food or funds, or to provide information about families that could benefit from the "Love in Action" Thanksgiving Outreach program, contact Pastor Darryl Baker at (614) 833-4637; or send email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.