Churches in Princeton connect, collaborate, and engage to help the community
For two decades, the churches in Princeton have banded together, across denominational lines, to help provide for the people in their community. What began as a benevolence ministry, Christ Cares for Princeton, has grown into much more than that over the years.
Stan Fike has pastored Princeton’s Faith Baptist Church for more than a quarter of a century. The church now houses Princeton’s food pantry, a place where people can come to receive fresh vegetables and basic food staples such as canned goods, frozen meat, and fresh bread. While many churches across the country provide similar ministries, the real story behind Christ Cares for Princeton is that it has evolved into an ecumenical “ministerial alliance” where all of the pastors from across the area gather together once a month, not just to fellowship or to share their burdens of pastoral work, but to serve their community.
“We have a really good, cordial relationship with one another,” said Fike. “We don’t try to be in competition with one another, we try to be in cooperation.” Fike added the goal is to help people who are in need and to minister to them in Jesus’ name.
As a result, several years ago the group partnered with the Princeton Independent School District to launch Chaplains of Hope Ministry. “We are able to go into the schools during lunchtime,” Fike explained. “If a kid wants to talk, we are available to talk with them. We have a good relationship with the schools.” Fike said they try to send one or two chaplains into the schools each week. In addition, each year the ministerial alliance hosts an Appreciation Lunch for the employees of the school district. “We feed them dinner and have a program that gives information about Christ Cares for Princeton, the benevolence site, and a short devotional and some door prizes,” said Fike. “We just want to let them know that we care for them.”
The group also partners with the city government to host a “prayer gala” on the National Day of Prayer in May. “Our mayor has been real instrumental in getting the business community, the church community, the school community, and the city government together for that,” Fike said.
The food pantry is open the second Thursday night of each month from 6 to 7pm. Fresh produce is available from 10am to noon on the first Thursday and fourth Tuesday of every month at Faith Baptist Church.
Food pantry workers are currently seeking donations of canned vegetables, canned meat, pancake mix and syrup, and frozen meats. A food drive for the pantry will take place during the Collin Baptist Association (CBA) Church Network’s Annual Gathering on October 20 at the Cowboy Church of Collin County in Princeton.