Alton church serves up free Christmas meals

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ALTON, Ill. – An annual tradition continued at St. John Missionary Baptist Church on Monday.

The downtown Alton church, whose history dates back to the early 1920s, served free meals to those in the community for the 10th straight year.

“We had a whole lot of volunteers because once the Christmas spirit gets in here, you just want to come and share it,” Pastor Velda C. Peals said. “We’re very grateful for the donations for the food, donations from the volunteers, and especially those who came and took a part in it.”

Traditional meats, sides, and desserts were served, whether eaten onsite or claimed via online carryout.

“It’s important for the community to see the church give back,” church member Orlandus Cherry said. “That will always be a very good draw for them to see that because as the community sees that the church is giving back, then the community will help the church and stay involved.”

Warming up souls with hot food continued St. John MBC’s ongoing mission.

“We want people to know that Christmas is not just for today, but we have the Christmas spirit 24/7, every day of the year,” Pastor Peals said.

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