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Today in the Mission Yearbook

Presbyterian homeless ministry serves 8 millionth meal


First Presbyterian Church of Dallas’ Stewpot reaches milestone

April 2, 2019


Last month, the Stewpot, a ministry of First Presbyterian Church in Dallas, served its 8 millionth meal. (Contributed photo)

The Stewpot, a ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, recently served its 8 millionth meal — equivalent to 13 million pounds or 2,800 pallets of food — marking a major milestone in the ministry’s 44-year history.

According to the Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance, about 4,100 people are experiencing homelessness in the city on any given day. “Helping Dallas feed those individuals who are experiencing homelessness is an honor,” said Brenda Snitzer, executive director of the Stewpot. “We aim to provide support for as many of those individuals as possible, and a large part of that support is meal assistance.”

In 1975, First Presbyterian Church began serving soup in the church’s basement to hungry neighbors. As the ministry grew, it moved to its own building, and eventually to the Bridge Homeless Recovery Center, a space operated by the city. The Rev. Dr. Laura Barnes, First Presbyterian Church’s interim pastor for mission and evangelism, said that in addition to casework services for people experiencing homelessness, the church provides more than 1,000 meals each day, seven days per week.

Aside from providing meals, the café offers diners a quiet, air-conditioned break. “I think the dining hall is a magical place, one where those who are in need of service and those who want to serve come together in a harmonious spirit,” said Ashlee Hueston, Stewpot’s director of operations. “There’ve been power outages, fires, broken pipes and other disasters — but the commitment of this ministry to hold ourselves accountable to offer a dependable and a consistent service has never failed. With the help of over 1,400 volunteers a month, we have created a community dining hall where all belong.”

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas is a downtown church in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) For more than 160 years, the church has provided engaging worship, Christian formation and outreach in the heart of the city. For more information on the church’s programs and service opportunities, visit

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, Special to Presbyterian News Service

Today’s Focus:  Presbyterian Homeless Ministry

Let us join in prayer for: 

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Staff

Amos J. Disasa, Senior Pastor
Rebecca Chancellor Sicks, Associate Pastor for Congregational Life
Gerry Tyer, Interim Associate Executive Pasto
Lori Ferguson, Director of Administration and Human Resources
Beth Hernandez, Receptionist and Administrative Assistant for Membership
Marvin Kuers, Director of Information Technology
Margaret LaPlante, Administrative Assistant
John Joe, Controller
Denise Dempsey, Finance
Robin Wisdom, Payroll Clerk
Gloria Shows, Finance
JR Ratcliff, Finance
Margaret Ashley, Food Services Coordinator
Ruthell Reedy, Food Services Assistant
Tracy Cunniff, Food Services Assistant
Judson Watkins, Communications Coordinator
Dwayne Murr, Events Manager
Michael Kuers, Events Staff
Isaac Towb, Events Staff
Lee Wilkerson, Security
Larry Smith, Property Assistant
Tony Guerra, Property Assistant
Ann Rathbun, Director of Congregational Care
Kathy Price, Coordinator for Congregational Life and Worship and Music
Miatta Wilson, Director of Children’s Ministries
Bonnie Edwards, Director of Adult Education and Fellowship
Camilla Ballard, Director of Youth Ministries
MaryAnn Bradford, Pastor’s Assistant and Education Ministries Coordinator
Joshua Taylor, Director of Worship and Music
Diana Taylor, Director of Children’s Music
Thomas F. Froehlich, Associate Director of Music and Organist
Beth Thompson, Assistant Chancel Choir Director
Phyllis Wilson, Director of Handbell Music

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Dayna Oliver, PMA
Karen Oliver, ASG

Let us pray:

God of the universe, we thank you for all that you have created and called good. We thank you for placing us in the midst of your creation and for blessing us as your own. May we be all that you have called us to be, and may we follow you each and every day with excellence and in faithfulness. Amen.

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