For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me. I was in prison and you came to visit me.
(Matthew 25:35-36 NIV)
Early Days of the Lake Area Shared Ministries
I am Mary Lou Brunson and I want to share what I remember about the early days of our ministry.
In September 2001, the Quinlan Lake Tawakoni Ministerial Alliance met for their regular second Tuesday of the month meeting. During this meeting, Pastor Larry Tinsley for FUMC, Quinlan, presented to the Pastors to provide for the "needy" in this area. Pastor Larry went on to state that the FUMC for the previous 6 to 7 years had been providing emergency food, medicine, gasoline and utilities to many that came to the church door seeking help. FUMC had set up a fund supported by the church members "Pastor's Needy Fund" and now that "need" was really more than one church alone could handle. Pastor Larry ask those present to pray about this "need" and then present this to their own congregation and bring an answer to the October 2001 meeting.
At the October Quinlan TMA meeting all interested pastors and church members agreed to meet the following week at FUMC to lay the ground work to unite the churches and the volunteers. At this time the FUMC volunteers rotated their time to interview and meet needs on Tuesday and Thursday of each week. As we came together for this initial meeting, Pastor Larry was our leader and the FUMC volunteers answered questions and shared the "pit falls" on some of the ideas the "newcomers" had. This meeting was very informative for all who attended.
Out of this October meeting, Mr. George Douglas from Faith Baptist, a retired business man, had seized on his Pastor's presentation of the September meeting and came prepared with data and information he had gathered on site, costs, etc., very detailed. His expertise was such that Pastor Larry made the motion that we elect George Douglas as the Executive Director, and the vote carried. At this meeting, FUMC volunteers advised, "We don't pay rent, and the money is needed for food". The other thing, the name Mr. Douglas had suggested was not acceptable. Some of those present felt they would like to begin their training to interview "now" if those already volunteering would train them. And so they did. The meeting adjourned and we would all be back in November to evaluate any and all new information Mr. Douglas was to present.
At the November 2001 meeting, Mr. Douglas presented "Lake Area Shared Ministries" as the name and the clasp hands as the logo. This met with 100% approval and Mr. Douglas began the paperwork to make it official. Which the name LASM became so in the late spring/early summer of 2002. In the meantime, the volunteers were organized; from FUMC, Faith Baptist and Agape and were available to interview and disperse Monday through Friday of each week beginning in December 2001. The food was stored by item in boxes lined against the wall of a Sunday School classroom in FUMC. While volunteers dispersed food etc., Mr. Douglas received the donation of a building from Calvin Lucas to Faith Baptist Church to be used for LASM.
This building and with volunteer work was made ready and Lake Area Shared Ministries officially moved in November of 2002. By the grace of GOD, the community, churches, individuals, businesses, organizations, and our schools gave equipment, and money to expand the building with, food drives, and contests to bring in food etc.. GOD moved on peoples hearts to meet the need of those in need.
In 2009, LASM joined up with North Texas Food Bank to buy in bulk as the "need" has gotten much larger, and with the state of our Nation we are glad GOD is still blessing. True, we have had to cut back on the days we are open, but just understanding that each one of us at LASM is a VOLUNTEER, NO ONE GETS PAID.
So, as we begin 2012, PRAISE be to GOD! for those who so diligently sought His Face to find a larger facility and to ALL those who came on board to give of THEIR TIME and EXPERTISE to see what the ALMIGHTY has provided for LAKE AREA SHARED MINISTERIES.
This is written by Mary Lou Brunson, LASM Secretary