ANNAPOLIS – Fowler United Methodist Church 'moms' arrived at the church basement before sunrise Christmas morning.
"This starts my Christmas to me," Tangela Brown said. "We went into our own pockets and brought out some donations."
Brown stood over a table of bibles, stuffed into bags with blankets, scarves, hats, and cash. The Parole, Maryland church joined forces with other congregations in what has become an annual tradition.
"You have chicken soup. You have noodles. You have fresh vegetables," Sandra Bowie said, standing over a pot of homemade soup.
"Excuse me, when you say 'soup', make sure you say 'homemade' soup!" Brown said.
The homemade soup and bags are driven 20 miles north to the corner of Potee Street and Patapsco Avenue.
"What a great day than Christmas morning than to come out and be with them when everyone has probably overlooked them," Fowler UMC Pastor Jerome Jones, Sr. said, as he and congregants distributed soup and bags to the homeless community. "It's about cars not being loaded to give our own family gifts. But, they're loaded to give to others."
Fowler United Methodist was one of four Anne Arundel County churches. In June, vandals broke a window and destroyed much of what was inside, including bibles and a cross.
"Whoever thought the church that was vandalized, the church that had so much struggle and difficulty, we recognize that it was nothing but triumph," Pastor Jones said.
Minister Theresa Mullins said Christmas is about serving others, despite the church's adversity this year.
"But, guess what? God turned it around to bless us," Mullins said. "We're going to cry. We're going to hug them. We're going to wish them a Merry Christmas."
for more features.