The night before Thanksgiving Day, Church of Living Hope in Tyler invited the community to join in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Nearly 200 people waited in line as people shuffled through the church’s kitchen. Those in attendance were able to pick from a buffet of traditional Thanksgiving dishes, such as turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

This event isn’t anything new. Every Wednesday at 6 p.m., Church of Living Hope provides a free meal to the community.

“We’re trying to reach our community; we’re trying to share a Thanksgiving meal with them, so we’re inviting them. We made four turkeys, all the fixings, everything for a Thanksgiving meal,” Church of Living Hope Senior Pastor David Herndon said.

“And we’re going to have a time where people can share what they’re thankful for … almost like a family-like event.”

For some community members, and some members of the church, this will be the only Thanksgiving celebration they can participate in.

Herndon stressed the significance of the event. He said it’s not just a way to feed the community, but a way to share the Gospel message.

“It’s really important that churches meet their community at a place of need,” Herndon said. “We don’t only want to reach our community (outside the church), but our church is a community. It’s a place where you can come and have real relationships with other people.”

Herndon invites anyone who desires to find community to visit the church. For more information, visit

Digital Multimedia Journalist

I love telling stories and making a difference in the people around me. Happily married to my wife Laura, and an active member of the East Texas community.

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