KEYSER - In the Book of John 21:17, Christ said to Simon Peter, if you love me “feed my sheep.”

By Marcia Conrad
Tribune Correspondent
KEYSER - In the Book of John 21:17, Christ said to Simon Peter, if you love me “feed my sheep.”
The Keyser Assembly of God brings these words to life when, as they have for the past 17 years, they sponsor a community-wide Thanksgiving dinner.
Pastor John Johnson says the event not only feeds people of the community, but also brings the congregation together as well. Eager volunteers serve, prepare, package, and deliver between 900 and 1,200 meals to anyone in the area who wants a dinner.
Although the meal is totally free for everyone, Pastor Johnson says some people insist on giving a good-will offering.
This year the Feed My Sheep dinner was held on Nov. 19, with meals being served from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Meals were available to eat in, take out, or be delivered.
While some area businesses make donations to the annual dinner, the church pays for everything else. First Baptist Church with Pastor Jody Bean donated
20 of the 40 turkeys for this year's dinner. Wal-Mart donated a $250 gift card, which was used to purchase supplies for the dinner. Keyser Middle School donated dozens of cookies this year.
According to food coordinator Dave Kesecker, about 30 gallons of green beans are needed each year for the dinner, along with three cases of instant mashed potatoes and two dozen boxes of boxed stuffing mix.
A multitude of volunteers begin arriving at the church about 6:30 a.m. to begin getting meals ready. Like a well-oiled machine, they form an assembly line to get the meals ready on time. They wrap cookies, slice over 120 pumpin pies,
bag rolls, and fill styrofoam take-out trays.
Although the tradition began several years before he came to the church, Pastor Johnson says it has been a positive event for the community and for the church as well.
This event truly brings the entire community together as
volunteers from all walks of life come together to feed the sheep.