By Chris Becnel
Director of Communications, FUMC Russellville
On Jan. 20, 2021, Manna House volunteers held a Dedication and Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new Russellville First United Methodist Church Manna House Food Pantry. Current Manna House workers and other leaders key to Manna House’s past history were present for the ceremony. The Rev. Tony Griffin began with a Statement of Gratitude and prayer, and the Prayer of Dedication was spoken aloud by Manna House representatives.
Following the dedication ceremony, Manna House Director Dan Meatheany introduced the new Manna House Building Committee members, Gary McElroy, Ragena Moore, Tom Peebles, Hugh Dorminy, and Robert Holeyfield. Ex-Officio members are Dan Meatheany and Terri Kulbeth. Some of the business partners included in the project are General Contractor, Jim Woker of EWI Constructors, Inc., and John Peel of Peel Law Firm, the attorney for the team.
The Finish Subcommittee members, who are tasked with selecting paint colors and other finishing touches, are Kim Meatheany, Danny Tucker, and Sarah Peel. In attendance representing Help Network were Executive Director Sarah Bergner and Help Network Board President Candice Underwood.
After the dedication, Manna House Director Kim Meatheany instructed team members to break ground. “Today as a show of our faith and resolve to support those in the communities of Pope and Yell County who need a helping ‘hand up,’ we perform the time-honored ritual of ground-breaking. Also, just as symbolic, with these shovels, we honor the American Farmer who turns the soil to grow the food that feeds us. With this action, we grow a new Manna House and Help Network facility to serve people in need.” After her words, the crew used golden shovels to toss dirt to symbolically begin the process for the new construction.
Those in attendance at the ceremony were invited for one last tour of the inside of the original Manna House building which will be torn down to make room for a new, more efficient building so Manna House can continue to provide much-needed services to residents of Pope and Yell Counties.