ENID, Okla. — Still working together
The Rev. Andrew Long, pastor of First Presbyterian Church talked about their missions and how the church actually puts people in the community to help. The two biggest missions of First Presbyterian are Saturday manna, a food kitchen that welcomes anyone, and Wednesday afternoon tutoring, which currently helps 21 Enid students.
“We see a lot of Enid’s homeless and some low income. We also give away clothing, books and toys for children. And it has become a gathering place. We keep the doors open as long as someone is here,” he said.
The elementary students who attend tutoring have a family type of meal, then math class taught by Jan Robinson. Then there is play time, followed by one-on-one classes with a number of volunteer tutors. Long said the tutors are comprised of members of First Presbyterian Church, members of Westminster Presbyterian Church and others who are not affiliated with any church.
The tutoring also has developed into a mentoring session for some of the students, he said.
“It’s good for the student and the tutor,” Long said.
Many tutors have been volunteering for eight years or longer, he said.
The church also offers financial support to other organizations, mostly Loaves and Fishes. Gail Wynne, director of Loaves and Fishes, is a longtime member of First Presbyterian Church. The organization used First Presbyterian facilities for several months until its building was complete.
First Presbyterian is a partner and member of the food bank and helps to intake and help people obtain food. It has an ongoing collection of peanut butter, which is taken to Loaves and Fishes.
First Presbyterian also supports Community Development Support Association.
“I think they identify the needy beyond what I can,” Long said.
They also support Horn of Plenty by collecting food and assisting with the organization’s semi-annual food drives.
Recently, the executive board of 4R Kids used the church’s facilities for a meeting. Long said one of the ways the church benefits the community is through use of its facilities. There are a number of Bible study classes meeting at First Presbyterian.
The church sent assistance to Presbyterian Relief after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast. Long who originally is from Baltimore and graduated from Princeton, said this summer the church may send a mission team to help with clean up.