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Hometown Hero: Church Serves 220 Rockaway Beach Residents Each Wednesday

ROCKAWAY BEACH, Mo. -- Nine years ago, the pastor at Bridge of Faith Community Church began a program that involved feeding children and teaching them bible study. Now, that program has expanded and over 200 Rockaway Beach residents are fed and taught bible study each Wednesday night.
ROCKAWAY BEACH, Mo. --  Our Hometown Heroes report this week features church volunteers from Rockaway Beach.

Bridge of Faith Community Church feeds around 220 people each Wednesday night.  The church takes buses into neighborhoods so kids and adults can get a warm meal and a bible study lesson.

The church's pastor, Jonathan McGuire, started the program nine years ago.  He picked up only one or two kids at first.  Now, the program has expanded and the church feeds more than 200 people each week.

"Our goal is to truly transform a generation and transform our city," says Bridge of Faith Church Pastor Jonathan McGuire.

That's why for the past nine years, he's made it his mission to change the lives of Rockaway Beach residents one Wednesday night at a time.

"Busing them in, bringing them in, feeding them a meal, teaching bible study and sending them back home," McGuire says.

What was once one or two kids is now a room full of people.

"I started driving a van picking up kids and filled that van up," says McGuire.  "Then, I needed another one and now we have three buses and two vans picking up kids and bringing them back."

All the buses and vans combined bring in an average of 220 people each week.

"Now that we're at 220 people, it's a pretty humbling thing," McGuire says.  "It's kind of crazy because I didn't set out to see 220 people come on a Wednesday night."

The church puts a warm meal on the table and teaches bible study lessons.

"It's so important for us as a church to meet the needs of our community," says McGuire.  "And we want to be that church that if we were ever to leave our community, they'd beg us to come back."

It takes multiple volunteers to get the job done.

"We are known for feeding people and putting a meal on the table and meeting a need there within our community," McGuire says.  "Even some people in need of food, they're the ones doing dishes, cleaning up, sweeping the floors and helping us out."

It's a place that opens its doors to everyone.

"We like the people here," says Church Member Amanda Rollins.  "And they accept us for who we are."

"I came from hard times," says Church Member Michael Lowther.  "I was broken and they've lifted me up."

Those who gather at the church every Wednesday say the program has changed their lives.

"If it wasn't for God or this church, I'd be dead or in jail right now," Lowther says.

"It's so important to what we do," says McGuire.  "At this point in my life, there's no other place I want to be."

The church is always in need of volunteers.  If you'd like to get involved, you can call Jonathan McGuire at 417-230-7422.
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