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Eddie Sanders was driving down Lafayette Street when he first spotted Nashville Rescue Mission’s parking lot. This would be the perfect place to host a cookout he thought to himself. Turns out he was right.
As a volunteer with Star Ministries, Eddie was constantly on the lookout for ways to serve those in the urban community. Whether it was giving food to those in need from their food pantry, to hosting picnics in the Napier neighborhood for the families who live there—giving back has always been at the heart of their ministry.
“When I saw the Mission’s parking lot back in 2003, they had not been in their current building that long, so I guess that’s why it never had occurred to me before,” said Eddie. “But in that moment, I knew it would be a great place to host a cookout and a wonderful ministry to partner with. The Mission was already helping those in need and we could come alongside them in giving back to the community.”
Today, the celebration, which usually takes place around Labor Day, is much more than a cookout. It’s food, entertainment, music, and a time to share the hope found in Jesus Christ.
Eddie, who says he loves working for the Lord, looks forward to the annual event that has now evolved into a partnership between his church, Morningstar Missionary Baptist Church and Fellowship Bible. While these two churches may be on opposite sides of the city, they have joined in one accord to help those in need.
“Back in 2009, Fellowship Bible approached us,” said Eddie. “They wanted to support Star Ministries’ Food Pantry. One thing led to another and they decided to come alongside us in several other outreach ministry opportunities, including this annual event at Nashville Rescue Mission.”
“We believe strategic partnerships are the life-blood of an effective and sustainable ministry,” said Joel Guinness, adult ministries associate at Fellowship Bible. “Our aim is to lock arms with like-minded churches and organizations that are already doing great work in particular areas of the community and throughout the world. Through these relationships we can bridge cultural gaps and answer the question, ‘What can we do to help?’ Sometimes the answer isn’t as simple as you might think.”
What Fellowship has in plenty is sometimes exactly what partners’ lack—financial and equipping resources, and exposure to different kinds of strategies that can make a big difference in moving Kingdom initiatives forward. “Sometimes helping looks like giving money, sometimes it’s donating material goods, and sometimes it’s volunteering,” said Joel. “Whatever the case may be, we want to join with partners like Morning Star and Nashville Rescue Mission to figure out how we can best help.”
“It is amazing what we can do when we work together to bring glory to God,” said Joel. “It’s the church—the body of Christ—serving together. It’s a beautiful thing.”

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