Sandy & Sherri McKelvy Feeds the Manchester Community

by | May 2022

MONDAYS. THE most dreaded day of the week for many has become the most anticipated for the Oakley community in Hillsboro. 

When the doors of Oakley Ministry Center open at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, the neighborhood comes to life, and life comes to the neighborhood. Sounds of children laughing and playing punctuate adults’ conversations. Volunteer homework helpers are leaned over textbooks and students while others join in fun and games.

At 5:30 p.m. the atmosphere quietens as Julia Sullivan and Stacy Chandler lead praise and worship services. Pastor Jake Dorak’s message feeds souls with a message of good news.

The hot meal provided by Connection Groups at First Baptist Church Manchester offers food and fellowship. The faces at the tables week to week may change, but the center’s mission is steadfast: to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

It’s the closing act of the evening that ministers most directly – a grocery distribution. 

Sandy and Sherri McKelvy supervise the food pantry, a ministry of First Baptist Manchester. Sherri orders the groceries from Second Harvest Food Bank. Then, with the help of Tracy Rutland, Jim Holtzclaw, Nicole Davis, and Rick Schultz, the orders are unloaded and delivered to the campus. It’s a team effort.

Sherri said, “Many say they used to just come and grab the food and go but now want to come and listen and be part of things. We’re getting to know them as families, and they’re really getting to know the Lord. It’s more than feeding them; you’re building relationships.”

Prepackaged USDA items are distributed o the first Monday of every month. The community can choose items from the pantry’s shelves on all other Mondays. 

Once a month, the McKelvys pick up a semi-truck full of groceries and deliver them to First Baptist. Twice a month, they purchase perishables. From the church in Manchester, the pantry at Oakley is stocked weekly for distribution.

Sherri said, “I try to get a variety of things, but the last year or so has been very challenging. It’s getting even harder due to availability and price.”

The center doesn’t provide a week’s groceries, but every little bit adds up.

“We feel like a lot of what we can help them with allows them to be able to utilize those finances for their other needs,” said Sherri. 

And when the pandemic hit, Oakley never missed a beat. 

Sherri said, “We adjusted the way we did things. We just made it work because we felt like that was when they needed us the most.”

The McKelvys see their work at Oakley as a labor of love. 

“We’ve never done anything apart. We’re pretty much inseparable. You feel how blessed you are and pray for the opportunity to do that for others,” she said.

It’s a mission, with its roots in the teaching, of one of the McKelvys’ first pastors.

“Remember to be F.A.T. – faithful, available, and teachable,” he taught.

Sherri said, “That’s how it started with both of us, and fortunately we’ve been able to do that together.”

For more information or to volunteer, visit First Baptist Manchester’s website, manchesterfbc.com, its Facebook page, @manchesterfirstbaptist, or call (931) 728-2138. -GN 

More Good News

Faith: The Power of Perspective

Faith: The Power of Perspective

WE SAW the sky but little else through the window in the room where we sat. The gray and white clouds marched briskly by as blues and grays traded places.  She was convinced the clouds would...

read more
The Baldwin Cart Project

The Baldwin Cart Project

MR. HINSHAW’S Manufacturing Practicum class created a portable cart for Mrs. Baldwin’s Digital Arts class to hold their digital single-lens reflex (DSLR). Little did they know their senior capstone...

read more
A gift of compassion

A gift of compassion

THE HOLIDAYS are a joyous time of the year for many. Days filled with family and friends coming together to celebrate and spend time with each other. But for many, it can often be a stressful and...

read more
We’ve got the sauce

We’ve got the sauce

IT STARTED with the sauce. Take crushed tomatoes, add a splash of red wine, a whole lot of basil, and a few secret ingredients, and you get a hearty and authentic Italian red sauce that’s not too...

read more
A night out for creative souls

A night out for creative souls

THE CREATIVE souls of Manchester regularly enjoy wonderful, relaxing evenings at Manchester’s Board & Brush Creative Studio learning how to create signs as well as many other things from etched...

read more
A labor of love

A labor of love

IF YOU’RE looking for classic comfort food or freshly baked goods, The Mercantile Cafe in downtown Manchester is the perfect spot. Their wide variety of easy-to-grab selections for lunch and dinner...

read more
When reruns are Home Runs

When reruns are Home Runs

NECESSITY MAY be the mother of invention, but the pandemic birthed many new creative ventures – directly and indirectly. Lona Bailey’s is the indirect variety. Many of us rediscovered old television...

read more
Pittman: The Persistent Player

Pittman: The Persistent Player

THIS PRACTICE wasn’t like all the others. It was the last practice before the season opener; the official start of the season. You could feel the tension and excitement amongst the players. It was...

read more
This drum major is unstoppable!

This drum major is unstoppable!

THE AFTERNOON SUN beats down, throwing its last few heated punches before it sets for the evening. The smell of hotdogs and popcorn waft through the air luring patrons to the concession stands....

read more
The rescuing bond of love

The rescuing bond of love

THE BOND between a girl and her horse is one that cannot be broken. A horse can be broken, meaning it can undergo skillful training to become accustomed to carrying a rider. Similarly, a young...

read more
A teacher all about relationships

A teacher all about relationships

GENERALLY SPEAKING, one of the most dramatic periods of a person’s life happens during the adolescent years when the prefrontal cortex of the brain region (responsible for things like planning,...

read more
The AEDC Fellows

The AEDC Fellows

IF YOU LOOK at the major milestones in aerospace history, such as getting a man on the moon, most of the materials, rocket engines, and models were tested right here at Arnold Air Force Base (Arnold...

read more
Juneteenth

Juneteenth

“FREEDOM” enters the chatroom, and immediately it’s all, barbecued meat and who’s got the biggest bang of a firework show. While Independence Day is our nation’s designated time to pause and...

read more
Lights, camera, and Remodel

Lights, camera, and Remodel

MAYBE IT’S the pollen, but something about springtime creates an itch within us all to get busy. Whether it’s a simple task like cleaning out a cluttered closet or a more elaborate one such as...

read more
Southern Healing & Good Karma

Southern Healing & Good Karma

THE ORIGIN story of Manchester’s Southern Healing Farmacy and Good Karma Cafe is as fast as it is wild. “It was totally one of those God moments. Basically, I rode by a hemp field on a Sunday, and...

read more