We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

We’re so glad you found our website. Whether you’re visiting us from another part of the world, or from right here in the Huntersville, North Carolina area — welcome!

Pastor Paul's Blog

"Not Here" for a Thanksgiving Meal

By now you may know the story of how the “Not Here” ministry was started, but the story is so good I like telling it over and over. Justin Stewart and I were standing in the church kitchen looking at a big storage bag of hot dogs that were left over from a Youth event. Justin asked, “What are we going to do with these hot dogs?” My response was, “Oh, I don’t know, we will serve them again for another occasion.” He replied, “I’m going to take them down and give them out to the homeless in Charlotte. I know where they hang out.” Okay then.

That was the start of something big!

From there the ministry grew weekly. The next week Justin prepared soup and took it down for our homeless neighbors. Then, every week, something else. He ended up setting up at different spots in Charlotte, but the police would come by and say, “It’s great what you are doing, but NOT HERE!” Eventually, a space at Hope Chapel was secured, and “Not Here” had a home.

Justin moved to Colorado in 2016, but with the dedication and leadership of several volunteers, the ministry continued. Kirk Sipe took the lead, and others continued to lend their talents and abilities for this vital expression of God’s love and grace.

Now, other churches have come alongside ours, providing additional help. A worship service, led by Charles DiRico, is offered after the meal every week. Most weeks, clothing is available to those who need it. It is an amazing thing to watch how this ministry thrives.

“Not Here” is not in the church budget, per se. We don’t fund the food served, or the supplies used, or the gas to drive the van. When people want to support the “Not Here” ministry, it is through directed giving.

This Sunday, our “Not Here” ministry is going to provide a meal for us. The food comes from the same place the Thursday food comes from, donations from places like Chipotle, Chick-Fil-A (Denver), Outback Steakhouse, Carrabbas, Little Caesars and Bone Fish grill. Our talented chefs take and re-purpose the food and make it even more delicious. This Sunday, you are invited to stay after the 10:30 service to share in a pre-Thanksgiving meal. The money you donate will go to provide for the “Not Here” ministry supplies; the plates, the serving items, gas, etc. An estimated $1,200 per year is needed. We trust that the spirit of giving will be flowing through us as we are blessed by this food and gathering.

Thank you to all the “Not Here” ministry people who are answering the call of God, “I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me drink.” May God continue to bless “Not Here.”