Hunger and Homelessness Ministry

Serve God.
Serve your neighbors.

At First Baptist Church, one of our most significant ministries is our work to care for the homeless and the hungry. Even in a wealthy community like ours, food insecurity affects one in seven people (one in six children). Our ministries to this population include:

Vespers

Vespers Volunteers

This is our most enduring mission. Every Tuesday, volunteers from our church, Northside Community Church, and Bethel United Church of Christ, prepare and serve dinner for those in need. We are known as the “Dinner Church” among our Vespers guests; this meal is open to anyone in the community who wants to come eat. Many of our guests are homeless, but at least a third of the 60-80 people who come are not. These folks have trouble getting through the month on their income, and some come for the social interaction. Along with dinner, the guests can generally meet with a pastor to pray or just talk. It is a convivial atmosphere, and, for the homeless, one of the few chances they get to have a choice of meals. Like the guests, the volunteer teams are varied, from youth to senior citizens and from outside the participating congregations as well.

Rotating Shelter

Organized by the Shelter Association of Washtenaw County with participation from many area churches and synagogues. Each March, we host the overflow from the local homeless shelter in our church building. Each night for a week, volunteers offer a free, home-cooked soup dinner and a safe, warm, friendly place to stay for the night.

Daytime Warming Shelter

Organized by M.I.S.S.I.O.N., a local nonprofit that works to help local homeless people address many of their needs. This is one of our newest ministries, organized recently during a brutally cold winter. Two days a week each February, we host a daytime warming shelter, offering a safe, warm, friendly place to relax and connect with others during the day. Volunteers offer a free, home-cooked lunch, along with friendship and hospitality.

Hikone Food Drive

Hikone

Every December, we collect and deliver food for the children and families of Hikone, a low income housing community in Ann Arbor. Many of the children and youth at Hikone receive free or reduced-price breakfast and school lunch. As these are not available during the two-week school break, we help by providing nonperishable breakfast and lunch items as well as “milk money” to the food pantry at their community center. Volunteers collect, sort, and deliver our donations to the community center right before winter break begins.

Food Gatherers Day of Service

Food Gathers Day of Service

Teams of church volunteers help out in the warehouse of the food rescue and food bank program of Washtenaw County (Michigan’s first food rescue program).

​CROP Walk for Hunger

CROP Walk

Organized by the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice. Each fall, a team of volunteers from our church joins hundreds of other volunteers in walking to raise money for programs that address hunger both locally and globally.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity

Our congregation, along with 16 other local congregations, works together as “The Good News Group,” on home renovation projects in our area. In 2017, we completed work on two homes in Ypsilanti – our 30th and 31st homes.

If you are looking for a meaningful way to make a real impact in our community, especially among a population that is too often overlooked our prosperous town, we would love to have you join us in one or more of these important efforts! Connect with us to learn how.