Some could say it’s a match made in heaven.
God’s Kitchen, a local nonprofit agency, and Kingdom Word Global Impact Ministries hosted one of the church’s first community outreach events on Saturday at the church’s newly-renovated building at the former Salvation Army site at 6114 22nd Ave. The event featured enough grilled meats and side dishes to feed over 300 in attendance, in addition to providing local residents with free clothing, haircuts and salon treatments.
Arnetta Griffin, the founder of God’s Kitchen, believes God sent her on a mission to feed the homeless twice a day. The 53-year-old delivers weekday lunches to the ELCA Outreach Center, 6218 26th Ave., and passes out nightly dinners in the Uptown neighborhood near 60th Street and 22nd Avenue.
When local residents and area businesses found out about her generosity, they rallied behind her with ongoing support and frequent donations.
Griffin now has her own church, pastor and a congregation of 80 people.
“This is about us coming together as a community,” Griffin said. “I’m just doing what God told me to do.”
Kingdom Word members and guests feasted on brats, burgers, chicken, ham, turkey, pulled pork, pasta and side dishes while socializing under the sun on a brisk afternoon. A number of people took advantage of free haircuts, eyelash extensions and makeup inside of the church.
There were piles of clothing neatly stacked and organized for those in need.
“It’s a very humbling experience,” Kingdom Word member Eugena Rodriguez said. “You don’t realize the need in this area. I brought my son so he could experience this as well. It think it’s awesome this group is doing such a big thing for the people in this community.”
Amanda Day, 28, of Kenosha, attended the event with her four children.
“I just heard about the event and wanted to come here and support it,” Day said. “You can get your makeup (done) and get a free haircut.”
Kingdom Word began as a Bible study group on April 14, 2016. It became a church in February 2017 and operated out of Vernon Elementary, 8518 22nd Ave., before moving into its new location in December 2018. The new facility received about $60,000 in renovations, according to pastor David Montgomery.
“It’s been a godsend,” said Montgomery, a 46-year-old Pleasant Prairie resident. “We used to have to set up chairs and bring in equipment and then tear it all down. It was rough for almost two years. God ended up blessing us here.”
Kingdom Word began its 10 a.m. Sunday service in February. Even with a new facility, Montgomery said the outreach group is focused on building people, not building a church. Griffin became a member of the church, forming a unique partnership with God’s Kitchen and Kingdom Word.
“With her being a member, why reinvent the wheel when God is already using somebody to feed the homeless and reach out to the community?,” Montgomery said. “We’ll bring the spiritual side alongside with what she’s doing naturally.”