Community Thanksgiving service to benefit Natchez Stewpot

Published 7:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2022

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NATCHEZ — This Sunday, people of various faiths will gather in one place for a Community Thanksgiving Worship Service and offering to the Natchez Stewpot.

Though Thanksgiving is in the title, it’s not a meal.

The annual gathering is organized by the Natchez Ministerial Alliance to bring multiple churches together, said the Rev. Bo Swilley, who is a member.

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“Its purpose is to get people of different denominations together to give thanks to God for his goodness and what he blesses us with each year. Secondly, we take an offering for the Stewpot. This is not just to help with their Thanksgiving meal but to help them make ends meet throughout the year.”

The Stewpot provides free meals to hundreds of people every day, holidays included, and also delivers meals to shut-ins.

Swilley invited churches to take up a special offering during their regular Sunday morning worship to bring to the service at 4 p.m. at the Natchez Community Center, located at 215 Franklin St. Individuals can contribute too, he said.

“Usually, we have about 150 people but we would love to have more,” Swilley said. “We want to see more involved. Representatives from every church in Natchez and not just pastors.”

Multiple churches are coming together to host the services, Swilley said. The Rev. Robert Wallis, associate minister at Community Chapel Church of God, will deliver the message and the praise band of Crosspoint Church will lead the music.

The Rev. Marcus Archer, director of the Natchez Stewpot, said the shelves have gone from empty to steadily filling up over the past week as word of the ministry’s need spread.

Still, there is always room for more. Natchez Stewpot has seen an increase in the number of people they feed on a daily basis from about 250 to 300 people per day.

“We could always use food,” Archer said. We have enough for the Thanksgiving meal but we have to feed people on the day after Thanksgiving as much as the day of. People think about it more during Thanksgiving and Christmas but we feed people all year round.”

Food items that Natchez Stewpot often uses but are not as commonly donated are canned fruit and any kind of meat items such as deer meat, hamburger or chicken.

Natchez Stewpot is open for donations to be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment.

“We’d love to have people come and worship with us on Sunday,” Archer said of the Community Thanksgiving Worship. “It won’t be a long service but hopefully it will be encouraging to all people and help them be thankful this Thanksgiving.”

For more information on the Natchez Stewpot and how to donate, visit