Giving Thanks

Jared Felkins • Updated Nov 25, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Warmer-than-normal temperatures Thursday led to possibly the highest turnout in its 14-year history at the annual Market Street Church of Christ Thanksgiving Dinner. 


And the group of youth and adults gathered at the church were ready with eight turkeys, six pans of dressing, 11 gallons of green beans and 9 gallons of corn. The group also gathered early to hand peel 45 bushels of sweet potatoes. 

Main organizer Felechia Wharton said by 11 a.m. when the dinner started, more than 100 people had requested home delivery, which is the most she’s witnessed. 

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“I’m hoping for 250, and I’d love to see 300,” Wharton said. 

But, she said, the dinner isn’t about the numbers. 

“As long as we’re here, it’s somewhere people can come, and we can share a good meal with them, no matter what color, nationality or denomination,” Wharton said. 

And for dessert, there were 12 cakes and five pies cut into slices awaiting hungry guests. 

“We are trying to teach the next generation how to do it right,” Wharton said. “This originally started as a project for our youth, but it’s our entire congregation that helps. We have some of our older members who help bake the cakes and pies.”

There was even some birthday cake. 

“Everybody likes birthday cake,” Wharton said. “At least I do.”

Wharton said the group was “so excited” to hand out 43 plates during their first year.

And as the number of plates has grown over the years, so have the youth. Wharton said one example is Denzel Greer, who has volunteered to help at Thanksgiving each year since he was a child. Greer gathered plates, loaded them on the church van and delivered them Thursday to those who requested them. 

“He’s basically grown up doing this every year,” Wharton said. “We couldn’t do it without him and our other loyal volunteers.”

The church also recently started a free clothing giveaway each fourth Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., except for December, when it will be Dec. 17. 

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