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Raven House providing food for needy

February 27, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

The New Life Victory Center congregation had only to look to the Bible to find an appropriate name for its new food and clothing center - Raven House.

"And I have commanded the ravens to feed you," comes from 1Kings 17 with a recounting of God speaking to Elijah, according to Pastor Clair Brinton.

Raven House was established late last fall in an alley between Summit Avenue and Prospect Street. Cars travelling on Prospect Street would turn left just past the Presbyterian Church office.

Limited parking is available in the Prison Ministry lot.

"Right now, we are only open Fridays from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.," Brinton said. The problem is that the temporary location is in an unheated garage and it gets pretty cold, for volunteers and for shoppers, he said.

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But while surroundings are rustic, the need is clearly evident. "We are already feeding 200 people," Brinton said.

All needy families in Hagerstown and outlying areas are eligible, regardless of religious affiliation. Raven House financial requirements must be met and a confidential application must be completed, Brinton said.

Once that is done, the applicant is eligible for food and clothing from Raven House, right away.

The vast majority of the Raven House's food currently comes from Operation Blessing, which is Pat Robertson's 700 Club organization, Brinton said.

"But we are also working with Food Resources Inc. and we accept donations," he said.

Clothing is entirely from local donations, he said.

"We also accept financial contributions, which we can then use to buy food inexpensively at Food Resources," Brinton said.

Inquiries can be directed to the church office at 301-714-4740.

"Currently, we are looking for a building," he said. Establishing Raven House has been a big job, but he said it's worth it.

"We just want to help needy families," he said.

New Life Victory Center, an interdenominational church, holds services at 920 W. Washington St. on the third floor.

Brinton is a lifetime resident of Hagerstown and has overseen the growth of the church and its ministries since 1995.

In September 1998, he guided the church into a new fellowship with World Harvest Ministries while retaining its independent local church status.

"The ministry of the food and clothing center is a God-given responsibility and an opportunity to reach out and help families in our area," he said.

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