For a second year, members of Texas Baptist Men’s Military Fellowship came together to melt butter and roast turkeys while preparing a Christmas dinner for soldiers and their families.
The event was hosted Sunday by the Homeless Veterans Services of Dallas at the Veterans Resource Center in Dallas, which catered to members of the U.S. Army 341st Multifunctional Medical Battalion in Seagoville. George Felkner, vice president of the TBM Military Fellowship, said the annual Christmas meal marks a special time in the year, not only for those served, but also for those serving. It’s what kick-started the ministry, after all.
“A year ago… a group said that they would provide the food for (this event) and backed out at the last minute, and we were called in,” Felkner said, “and so we feel like we diverted a disaster for them.
“After that feeding, we started the military fellowship, and so now it’s the official Texas Baptist Men Military Fellowship.”
Felkner said the unit will go wherever and whenever called upon, to serve those who have sacrificed so much for citizens’ freedom.
“We have our crew from several different churches and the North Texas area,” he said, “and most of the (volunteers) are veterans.”
Hazel Garrett, one of TBM’s volunteers, noted that the military-geared ministry provides a unique way for TBM to share Christ with those being served.
“That’s what it’s all about,” she said, “is seeing people come to know Christ.”
According to Lt. Col. Ann Hall, commander of the 341st, TBM's support in this manner has certainly garnered attention. Last year, for instance, she said that TBM's provision of the meal came at a pivotal time for the soldiers, right before they were deployed.
"They (TBM) took care of those soldiers,” she said, “fed them, gave them a good meal and gave them time and fellowship with their families before they went off to war — so we really appreciate the support of the Texas Baptist Men.”
Garrett said she has been a volunteer for about 10 years now, “and I love doing it because I love serving people," she added.
Concerning the military fellowship, Garrett said she gets excited when Felkner sends out an email requesting volunteers to help at events.
"I love to see them be served, because they serve us to keep us safe," she said, "and so it’s just a great thing we're doing today, just giving back.”
In regard to Sunday’s event, Garrett said the group expected to feed about 245 soldiers. Fellow volunteer Robert Womack said they put in the hours so that these active soldiers — as well as any veterans — know they “are not forgotten.”
“We try to help them any way we can — that’s what we do,” Womack said. “And we help in disasters, like we’ll go to Louisiana for a hurricane, or we’ll go whenever they need us, that’s where we’ll go. We’ve been to North Carolina as a group, went up there and fed people for a week.”
At any rate, this fellowship is there when they are called upon, he said. For more information about TBM’s military fellowship, or to volunteer, email George Felkner at email@example.com.
To support the ministries of TBM, you can donate online here or by calling Janice Clary at 214-275-1114.