By Jessica Nichols

When Bishop Randolph Gurley and his wife took over the Tabernacle Church in South Laurel in the late ‘90s, they supported neighborhood families by providing child and youth ministry, basketball and after-school programs, and back-to-school neighborhood block parties.

The church continues to lead by example by being one of the most consistent Laurel points to offer free food to the community. The Food Pantry Ministry at the church has blossomed and flourished throughout the years. The pandemic was an opportunity for churches to respond in a way that helped folks survive with less worry. 

The Food Pantry Ministry is currently led by a longstanding church and community leader, Deaconess Sheila Townes.The food pantry is open on Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In an emergency. call Townes at 301-490-3838 for more information. 

On the first Friday of every month, a huge outreach event is held that distributes fresh, pre-packaged groceries to families in a drive-thru style, while supplies last. Call Townes to volunteer to help build boxes and/or help distribute the groceries. 

Free bread and other foods are also distributed at the church following Sunday services, which begin at 11 A.M.

Tabernacle Church is at 11601 South Laurel Drive.