Pastor Vince Guidry was presented the Clergy of the Year award by Sulphur Rotarians on Wednesday. The award is given to members the clergy who “stand out in the areas of service, good works or ethics.”
Pastor Vince Guidry was presented the Clergy of the Year award by Sulphur Rotarians on Wednesday.
The award is given to members the clergy who "stand out in the areas of service, good works or ethics."
For more than two years, Guidry, often with help from those he has helped in the past, has been serving lunch, five days a week, to anyone in need at the Open Biker Church, 423 W. Burton Street. And beyond that, food boxes are handed out to help see families through the week. Guidry said they feed an average of 30 people a day. The church also distributes about 100 Thanksgiving boxes a year, complete with donated turkeys.
"What we've been called to do is help," said Guidry. "I can't preach the love of God if I don't show it."
Food is served from a kitchen dubbed the "Valley" because, as Guidry says, a valley is the lowest point and you can only go up from there.
Guidry said he asks no questions of those who show up at his church.
"Jesus said feed the poor," he said. "I don't need to beat them over the head with the Bible, I just have to show them God's love."
Many of those who come to the church are struggling with addictions or have had trouble with the law. There is also an increasing number of families with children, some of whom, Guidry said, live in their cars.
"Some people ask me if I know what type of people I'm letting into my church," said Guidry. "I tell them that they are all God's children."
Guidry said many people donate food and paper products.
"I've come to the church in the morning and someone has left a 200 pound bag of rice," he said.
But there is now more need for monetary donations than for those of food.
"All this food will do no good without financial help to keep the lights on," said Guidry.
His church takes up no collections. The church's truck, used to pick up donations and make deliveries, recently took itself out of commission. To help in buying another truck, a member of the congregation donated a Harley Davidson motorcycle to be raffled.
The church doesn't just feed people. Guidry and his congregation also work with people to get them employed. And he said that many who have been helped in the past come back later to help others. "They started coming here to get and now they're staying to give," he said.
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