Sylacauga church hosts Community Thanksgiving Dinner for ninth year
A Sylacauga church and pastor plan to host the Community Thanksgiving Dinner for the ninth consecutive year Nov. 24.

Reaching the World Bible Church and the Rev. Henry Looney, along with Sylacauga Alliance for Family Enhancement, Sylacauga’s Promise and volunteers from around the community, are preparing to serve around 2,000 meals once again. Workers and volunteers take orders before the day arrives and deliver many of the meals to people’s homes.

“Over nine years, we have kind of done it all,” Looney said. “It is always a blessing to take those (meals) out to folks especially. It is not just Sylacauga but all over the Coosa Valley area now. And they feel so blessed to have somebody come over and deliver meals. That is a wonderful thing especially on Thanksgiving.”

Taylor Logan of Sylacauga’s Promise reported that 2,184 people were served last year, nearly 400 more than 2009. Between 250-300 volunteers pitched in to help make the event a successful one.

Several groups and businesses such as Coosa Valley Medical Center, local schools, Piggly Wiggly, Royal Tire, ChristPoint Community Church and KFC participated.

The event has been described as “a true testament to the community of Sylacauga” by organizers, and an event involving everyone coming together from various walks of life and sectors of the community.

Promise Committee members reported that flyers had been sent to schools to remind them to start collecting canned goods. The “Can-Opening Party” is schedule the day before the meal at Coosa Valley Medical Center.

The committee also reported several reservations had already been made, and that the food orders and purchases were on schedule. Also, an anonymous donor had made a donation through Nichols-Lawson Middle School of 15 turkeys for the dinner.

“We are still prepared for about 2,000,” Logan said. “That is what we have done in the past.”

Another tradition prior to the dinner has been to come together for devotion. Staff and volunteers pray and let everyone know what to expect.

Following last year’s dinner, Looney called it “a privilege” to host, and said the dinner had become a spiritual experience with people giving their time to help someone else.

“You are giving of yourself, and I think that is the reason a lot of people love to come and participate,” Looney said. “We have folks from out of town that are visiting family for Thanksgiving that come and serve, to give out to others.”

Volunteers are still needed for the dinner and the turkey carving, which is scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving.

The dinner has been scheduled for Thanksgiving Day from 11-1 p.m. at Reaching the World Bible Church, 109 North Cannon Avenue. Organizers said the meal was free, and transportation was available if needed.

They requested people contact them by noon Nov. 22 for reservations. Call SAFE at 256-245-4343 for more information.

Contact Matt Quillen at

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