Vinemont Baptist Church’s Dr. Jane Teeter, left, and Lucille Greenwood, right, coordinate the 3rd Saturday Café ministry. / W.C. Mann
VINEMONT – They call it the 3rd Saturday Café because it takes place on the third Saturday of every month. It isn’t a particularly original name, but it’s not really about names, anyway. There’s a lot more to it. The Tribune dropped by this month for a bite, and to find out a little more.
The café is a ministry of Vinemont Baptist Church, a small congregation located at 787 County Road 1343 on the northeast side of Vinemont. It gives the needy of the area an opportunity for a hot meal and the fellowship of caring people, and gives the church one more way to touch its community.
“We do this the third Saturday of each month,” said coordinator, Dr. Jane Teeter. “Because none of us can remember dates, we named it the 3rd Saturday Café! It’s open from 11 to 1 on that Saturday. Anybody can come and eat. Of course, we have it planned for, maybe, people in the community that might want a hot meal or whatever, but anybody (can come); our church members come.
“Last month we fixed 40 plates, and this month we only had four who might actually need a meal. And sometimes they need to use the restroom, even to maybe take a sponge bath–we don’t have any kind of shower facilities here–and they’ve done that before.
“We’ve been doing this about six months, I think. And we haven’t had many, but we want to do it at least a year to see if we can get people to come.”
The numbers haven’t been big, yet, but the need is there. Some of those who come live in homes without power or running water, or even live in their vehicles. When they leave, they take boxes of leftovers and two-liter bottles of soda. Empty bottles go, too, filled with water. And while folks are at the church, life is normal for a few minutes: good food, laughing, joking and small talk around the tables.
Teeter explained that the ministry came from “one of our Bible studies we did: to be a Romans 12 Christian. So we decided–we talked about some things we could do; so we decided to try and feed anybody in the community that might be hungry.
“So we’re feeding some people. I know, having been the principal (of Vinemont Elementary School), that there are hungry people in Vinemont. I think our free and reduced (lunch recipients) when I left was about 70 percent in the elementary school. So there are hungry people in the community, if they’ll just come by.”
Most of the people who have come so far have not been from Vinemont. Information provided to the public by other area ministries has brought many visitors from down in Cullman. The café is open to all who come, without question of background or hometown. Diners can eat at the church, and carry-out boxes are available for those who would prefer to take a meal home.
As we finished our dessert, Teeter concluded with a word about her church:
“It’s a small church, but a really loving church and helping church. We do a lot of missions; we do the shoeboxes, we help Archie Hand with his mission in Mexico. We’ve had things for teenagers, we’ve tried homework camp, we feed young people on Wednesday night. Some of them don’t come here to church, but they come on Wednesday night, so they can get a meal.
“It’s a good little church. Everybody loves each other, takes care of each other. If you’re ever sick, you’ll have like 42 casseroles at your house . . . Anybody needs anything, we just do it.”
For more information, call Vinemont Baptist Church at 256-595-2144 or visit www.facebook.com/FirstBaptistVinemont.
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality . . . Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.” From Romans 12:10-16
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