Fort Worth casserole ministry delivers dishes and good wishes to doorsteps year-round

dfwnewsa | November 22, 2023 | 0 | Dallas News , Fort Worth , Fort Worth News

Fort Worth casserole ministry delivers dishes and good wishes to doorsteps year-round
Members of Broadway Baptist Church’s casserole ministry provide chicken poppy seed, lasagna or chicken sopa casseroles to anyone in need of a warm meal. (Courtesy photo | Claudine Marion)

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Elbert Godwin is known around his church as the casserole whisperer. 

The Hudson Oaks resident makes the roughly 23-mile drive to Broadway Baptist Church three days out of the week to volunteer with the church’s casserole ministry. 

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The retired architect spends his afternoons making phone calls to other ministry members and casserole recipients, coordinating pick-ups and drop-offs.

Broadway Baptist’s casserole ministry provides these dishes to anyone in need year-round as a way for members of the church to show their care to the community.

Godwin’s smiling face brings solace to those who see it, but so do the 9-by-13 aluminum pans of poppy seed chicken casserole or lasagna he dishes out.

“I love that ministry and it just shows people how much you care. It opens up the conversation about how they are doing and if they need anything else,” Godwin, who has been with the ministry since 2021, said.

The church’s casserole ministry got its start in 2010 after Claudine Marion and other church members were looking at the prayer list and wondering what more they could do to help people who were sick, injured or in need of comfort. 

“It’s just kind of a way to lift their spirits, and it’s more that than probably anything else. We’ll do people who are just out of the hospital, bereaved folks, a new baby in the family, a long-term illness or someone who just needs a boost,” Marion said. 

Marion is one of the organizers of the ministry. She has been a member of Broadway Baptist Church for about 35 years and had previously served as the church’s minister of hospitality and the arts. 

Members of the church can create casserole requests through the church’s newsletter or by contacting Marion or other members of the ministry. Marion also will reach out to people on the church’s prayer list to see if she and other volunteers can provide casseroles, she said. 

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Casseroles are made by volunteers like Rosemary Hammond. She has been a member of Broadway Baptist Church for about 50 years and joined the ministry in 2021. 

Hammond’s favorite casserole to bake is a King Ranch casserole, a medley of corn tortillas, shredded cheese, peppers and spicy green chiles. On top of making the dishes, the ministry allows Hammond to extend her prayers to those in need, she said. 

“It’s so helpful for a person like me to be able to have some kind of (way) that I can express to a person that we really care and want to help them — and it’s not just words, it’s something you can do,” Hammond said. “So I think that’s one of the joys and beauties of this casserole ministry.” 

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The ministry will have up to 20 casseroles in the church’s freezer at any given time, Marion said, ready for volunteers like Godwin to deliver. 

Volunteering with the ministry serves as a way for Godwin to live out his faith. 

“We’re taught by scripture to love unconditionally,” Godwin said. “Sharing something of ourselves with them and showing that you care. I think that goes such a long way.” 

Marissa Greene is a Report for America corps member, covering faith for the Fort Worth Report. You can contact her at marissa.greene@fortworthreport.org or on Twitter @marissaygreene. 

At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.

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