On this first Thanksgiving for American Jesus, we thought we’d take a break from all the goofiness that is American Christianity and call attention to a moment when the American church actually gets it right. We’re sure there are countless stories like this out there today, but this is a good one that caught our eye.
Happy Thanksgiving from American Jesus!
Tiny Spring Hill church feeds hundreds for Thanksgiving
by Erin Sullivan
SPRING HILL — Last year for Thanksgiving, Pastor John Grossi’s church fed 25 families, which is a substantial amount; 25 turkeys and sides, 25 holidays made better, but Grossi wasn’t satisfied. People are hungry, people are hurting, he told his 100-member congregation at Springs of Life Family Church, which he and his wife founded seven years ago in their living room.
He and his parishioners started a food ministry nine months ago with leftover bread donated from the Publix across the street from the church on County Line Road, just west of the Suncoast Parkway. As word spread — free bread, 10 a.m. Fridays — more and more people showed up. It became bread and peanut butter and jelly. Then the church started buying food from Feeding America Tampa Bay, a food bank in Tampa, with change collected each Sunday in a bucket passed around the pews. It became a few hundred people. Then 500, some waiting in line hours beforehand. The church began with a pickup to get the food from Tampa. Then a pickup with a trailer. Then a donated 18-foot truck. Then the truck and a few trailers. Next is a semi.
He didn’t know, week to week, if there would be enough money or donations to feed everyone, but Grossi, 52, had faith.
And added another challenge:
He wanted to give Thanksgiving dinner to 1,000 people.