Local ministry plans to expand

Published 2:45 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Through the Grace of God Minsistries is ready to add onto its facility in Clanton.

Big changes are happening right off Enterprise Road at Clanton’s Through the Grace of God Ministries.

Already bustling, the ministry provides meals for those in need Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to noon, Thursday evenings from 5–6 p.m. and breakfast every Sunday morning at 8, followed by a service at 9.

Ralph Bingham, the ministry’s director, said that, with the help of the First United Methodist Church and West End Baptist Church, they give away about 400 hot meals a week—in addition to about 50 boxes of food, 1,000 loaves of bread and 100 dozen eggs. Bingham says that some years they receive and give about 3,000 pounds of deer meat, and this week alone they have given away 250 pounds of potatoes.

As busy as they stay, the ministry is now looking to expand. Bingham says they need more facilities to accommodate the need.

First on the list of additions is a 30-feet-by-50-feet pavilion that will be built to the side of the existing building and hopefully completed within the week.

“Per day we give around 40 meals, but when it cools off it will go back up to 50 or 60. This building gets so hot. I think it will help to be able to take the food outside,” said Bingham.

The building will be used as a picnic pavilion for some time, but Bingham says it will eventually be a women’s home, much like the next big project they are working on.

Bingham says before they transform the pavilion into a women’s home, they will be building a men’s home. He says it will be two stories with a commercial kitchen and a fellowship hall downstairs. Upstairs will have 10 rooms with bathrooms and another fellowship space.

Though Bingham says similar buildings appraise for close to $500,000, they are hoping to have this one built for less than $100,000. So far they have raised $40,000.

“We have a lot of volunteers who will be helping us. We’ll be working with a missions team from Mobile,” said Bingham. “We’re hoping to go ahead and get started in October.”