Christian Way lends a helping hand in Camden
Over the hill from Camden’s downtown lies Depot Street, a quiet little road that leads up to a red brick church, quaint school, daycare facility and a white building for food donations, all collectively known as Christian Way.
The Rev. Charles Autery points his finger toward the sky as he explains the Christian Way mission. “It was all His plan. This was God’s doing.”
Christian Way helps more than 300 families in the Camden area each year by providing needed clothing and food. Each individual building of Christian Way serves its own purpose, but all are connected to serving the community.
Local pastor of the Camden United Methodist Church, Brian Dovey, said, “Christian Way is a tremendous ministry in our community that makes a difference in the lives of people every day in the name of Jesus Christ.”
In 2002, an old building was renovated to become Christian Way’s food pantry and donation center. The white building features one large room with organized items such as furniture and clothes on display. A wide variety of items, from children’s clothing to equipment for those who are handicapped or sick, is available.
One section includes items such as wigs and scarves for those undergoing breast cancer treatment. Rev. Autrey explained that he was aware of how many citizens face cancer, and he knows the availability is appreciated.
The food bank, adjacent to the donations center, offers easy access to canned goods and frozen meals. Rev. Autery said that visitors to the donation center and food bank are asked to sign in and recite a memorized Bible verse.
He added that volunteers are vital to the Christian Way mission. Volunteers can drive to those in need of food who can’t leave their homes. Anyone is welcomed and encouraged to volunteer.
Volunteers are given a wide range of responsibility such as sorting through clothing and items, categorizing clothing sizes, delivering food, keeping records and checking expiration dates on the food to make sure it is fresh.
Camden resident and volunteer for Camden Youth Ministries, Missy Burford, said young volunteers are active at the ministry and across Camden. She said, “Stop a moment and look around. Wilcox County’s youth are doing good!”
Burford said she and other volunteers are motivated by Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”