From the Beginning…

How It all Began….

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In the fall of 2008, the United Methodist Men’s group from Christ United Methodist Church decided to start “something” that would benefit the community at large. There were approx. 8 individuals involved and they settled on the idea of providing firewood free of charge to anyone who needed it and could not otherwise obtain it for themselves. They first contacted the Food Bank for assistance in locating persons who actually needed the firewood. As the Food Bank began providing the names of people who needed firewood, this small group of men was quickly overwhelmed by the demand.
Later in the fall of 2008, representatives from the United Methodist Men’s group began visiting other churches in the downtown area to explain the new Firewood Ministry they had started and made a plea for more help. The response was great. Individuals from Asbury UMC, Cumberland Presbyterian, First Presbyterian, Trinity UMC, St. James Episcopal, Reformation Lutheran, First Church of God, and others began to volunteer on a regular basis.

In 2009, local businessman Larry Jones offered the use of his property on the corner of Church St. and Bernard Ave. so the Firewood Ministry would have a central location to work from. This location has proved to be vital in the success of the ministry due to dry wood storage areas and concrete to work off of.

In addition to the volunteers actually cutting, splitting, and delivering firewood, there are many, many more volunteers supporting their activities.  Each Saturday, volunteers from the above listed churches prepare breakfast and lunch for the “woodcutters”.

In 2010 we reached an agreement with the Sheriff to get a work detail of inmates each Saturday to help with the woodcutting activities.  This has given rise to a pseudo prison ministry within the Firewood Ministry as many of our volunteers have developed relationships with inmates, and has given many young men (inmates) the opportunity to work closely with role models.  We now have several young men who were formerly inmates now returning each Saturday to volunteer and continue helping the Firewood Ministry.