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The East Texan

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A spiritual Thanksgiving

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People line up to take part of the free Thanksgiving lunch served by the First United Methodist Church. Photo Courtesy | Facebook

By Joseph Miller | Staff Reporter

The morning was cool, but inside the orange-yellow brick building located at 1709 Highway 24, it was warm and cheerful as The First United Methodist Church of Commerce invited the community in for a free meal on Thanksgiving Day.

The long and spacious dining hall of the church was lined with seasonally decorated tables. There was a serving line were almost 20 volunteers waiting to happily serve a traditional Thanksgiving meal consisting of turkey, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes and rolls. An array of pies from cherry, chocolate, and pumpkin to the Thanksgiving staple pecan pie were offered as desert.

“We are Methodists, so we like feeding people,” Mikey, the kitchen lead, said. “Who can say no to free turkey?”

The action came in waves. Shortly before 11 a.m., community members began to show up to grab a meal and share some company.

Around 60 people were served in the first half hour and another wave arrived around noon. The second a person entered the dining hall, they were greeted with hellos, handshakes and even hugs. The room hummed with warm laughter and conversation and volunteers walked around the room eager to see that their guests were comfortable and had eaten.

“It truly is a great community,” Gene Lockhart said. “I came here in ’69 for three years, and I’m still here.”

A diverse, multi-cultural crowd transformed the church dining hall across from A&M- Commerce into something special. A special place where, especially on Thanksgiving Day, if a person did not have a somewhere to go, a meal to eat, or a family or grandma to visit, the First United Methodist Church of Commerce had it for them. It is a place to feel warm and fuzzy for a holiday.

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A spiritual Thanksgiving