by Mike Durbin
PLYMOUTH, MI – “We sent the truck back empty!” Those were the words of Pastor Roland Caldwell about the Dairy Box distribution in Metro Detroit. He went on to say, “Within three hours it was gone. People came from everywhere.”
Hundreds of people received the much needed dairy products in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Odelle Cadwell, President of our state Women’s Missionary Union, was actively involved in organizing the ministry and was present the day of the distribution. She said, “It was a blessed display of mission and evangelism when the Greater Detroit Baptist Association under the leadership of Pastor Roland Caldwell distributed 1,056 boxes of dairy products in the Detroit area on Saturday July 23rd.”
The product was donated by Hope and Encouragement for Humanity (HEH), who partnered with the Department of Agriculture to provide families with these products during the pandemic. The boxes included (2 gallons of milk, 1 quart of chocolate milk, 1 quart of strawberry milk, cottage cheese, cream cheese and French onion dip). The Baptist State Convention of Michigan (BSCM) provided the funds for the first truck to come to Detroit, the hardest hit area in Michigan.
BSCM Executive Director, Tim Patterson, was active in fulfilling this mission. Celise Tillery, WMU Director for the Greater Detroit Association, was instrumental in securing the banners and the fork-lift which was used to remove the boxes off the truck. There were 13 churches represented on that Saturday. Many pastors who were not able to attend sent members of their congregation to assist. These pastors and staff loaded boxes into the trunks and back seats of the vehicles. More than 35 different zip codes in the Detroit area were served.
The WMU ladies were packing and distributing tracks to give with the boxes. Saturate Detroit packages were also distributed. While vehicles were in line awaiting their turn, volunteers were able to pray and share Jesus. Pastor Caldwell also saw to it that a nearby senior citizen apartment received several boxes. When HEH bus driver Gary Phillips pulled away there was not a single box on the truck. What a blessing!
One of the significant things about this event is that there was not just one church that took leadership. It was a great example of the church outside the walls. This is an example of what a family of churches can do. It was fun and exciting. It was an example of how partnerships can help Southern Baptist ministries to do greater things together than one church or entity can do alone.
We thank Pastor Caldwell, Tim Patterson and Celise Tillery for their leadership as we continue to Punch Holes in the Darkness in Michigan.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Durbin is the State Evangelism Director for the Baptist State Convention of Michigan. Before joining the state convention staff, Mike served as Church Planting Catalyst and Director of Missions in Metro Detroit since 2007. He also has served as a pastor and bi-vocational pastor in Michigan, as well as International Missionary to Brazil.