Neighbor helping neighbor

Neighbor helping neighbor

by Eric A Thomas

During this pandemic, we have all learned to do things differently. What has been most noticeable is how people are coming together to help others. One local church has come up with a way to help their neighbors in need while still maintaining the recommended social distancing guidelines.

Central Christian Church, 359 College Ave., has established two different “giving boxes” to help their neighbors that might have food insecurity. In recent years, there have been free library boxes set up in yards and various spots throughout communities nationwide so that people may help themselves to books in order to promote reading. Recently many have converted these into food pantries to give away food items to those in need.

“We have noticed others in the community setting up these food houses to help others,” commented Reverend Rex Kibler, senior pastor at Central Christian Church. “Two couples from our church spearheaded building two different ones for us to help our neighbors.”

The church has combined the idea of putting the books for all ages and food items together in these pantries. One is located on Church Street and was built by Gary and Linda Donovan. The other was built by Randy and Kelly Shearburn and is located on Beecher near the church’s park.

These pantries are open and available 24/7. In addition to books, there are various non-perishable food items. They have even included some fresh produce. The giving boxes have been stocked by members of the congregation but, they have noticed that some of the people who are picking up some things to use have also been putting back things to share with others. “It has been cool to see,” added Kibler.

Central Christian Church, like all churches, has not been able to meet as a congregation since the start of the pandemic. The church is keeping in contact with its members by phone, text, newsletter and Facebook. They are ministering to the congregation, neighbors and friends through online worship, a drive-in service, and daily/weekly devotionals for adults and youth. They have also supplied their members with prepackaged communion so that they can partake during Sunday worship in their homes.

Central Christian Church information: 217-243-7461,, Central Christian Church on Facebook, and

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