Faith and Family: Spirit of giving plentiful at 10th annual Thanksgiving dinner

Published 12:01 am Friday, November 23, 2018


NATCHEZ — The spirit of God was strong as Natchez residents gathered for the 10th Annual Harvest of Plenty on Thanksgiving at the W.A. Edney Masonic Temple.

A few dozen people were on hand for a dinner of turkey, ham, dressing, sweet peas, macaroni and cheese, a roll, cranberry sauce, gravy and cake.

Email newsletter signup

This year, the Harvest also offered a selection of free clothes, for which Misty Kragenbrink said she was gracious. Kragenbrink said she found items for her children who are 7 and 8.

“We need more resources like this in Natchez,” she said. “I got winter clothes and school uniforms, and they were even pressed.”

Natchez resident Stephanie Jones said the meal was a blessing for her in a time of difficulty.

“I’m coming to get the kids some clothes and food because my stove went out,” Jones said. “I was thankful for Frazier Elementary School giving me a full meal, but then my stove went out. I’m double dipping.”

Evangelist Carrie Minor of the First Church of Natchez, 606 U.S. 61, said she began feeding the community 10 years ago by cooking meals and serving plates from the trunk of her car.

This year, Minor dedicated the event to the memory of her friend Bishop Melvin Jackson Sr., who died in September and was pastor of the Greater New Jerusalem Apostolic Healing Temple.

Minor said Jackson always commended her for doing God’s work with a humble heart.

“I can’t forget Bishop because when I was down and out and didn’t feel like doing it, he encouraged me to continue,” Minor said. “He said ‘I see you go all in the community where people are in old houses, or on drugs or they drink and you go in there without fear. You go in there with a purpose to let people know that they haven’t been forgotten.’”

Prior to dinner, 14 people gathered for an evangelic sermon based on giving thanks to God.

Helen Nickelson of Natchez shared a testimony of how kidney stones led to her to heart failure and near death, and she praised God for giving her another Thanksgiving.

“Look at me now,” Nickelson said. “From one disease to another, look what God did for me. At this time last year I was in ICU. Look what God did for me. He’ll do it for you. I know what kind of God I serve; I serve an awesome God.”