Westville church welcomes in community, kids for holidays

LAPORTE COUNTY, Ind. -- Christmas Eve is typically a day reserved for food, family, and faith.

Fellowship Baptist Church in Westville is offering all three to those who may need it.

“The most important need in a person’s heart is love,” says Pastor Jeff Hawkins with Fellowship Baptist Church. “A lot of people think it’s wealth, it might be their health in some cases, but really, it’s God love.”

This Christmas Eve, the Westville community was welcomed to the church’s morning service, followed by a ham dinner buffet.

Pastor Jeff Hawkins says their focus is making sure local children are fed and feeling welcome this Christmas.  

“Some of them don’t get fed as much as other folks, so they appreciate that,” Pastor Hawkins says.

With Westville being home to one of the state’s largest correctional facilities, he says having a safe place to go is a need that hits home to many children in this community.

Thats why Pastor Hawkins and church volunteers will gather up children in their route on the church bus along the town’s less fortunate neighborhoods.

“We come early, get the bus ready, and we have to leave early then we take them home after,” explains Pastor Hawkins. “So, it’s a lot of hard work, but it’s rewarding work.”

It’s something Pastor Hawkins knows they will appreciate in the long run like he has.

“When I was a young fella and didn’t have the best upbringing,” Pastor Hawkins remembers. “A church bus took me to church, and I always remember that.”

He says that’s what the Christmas season is all about, showing love to the community and its children.

“We’re glad that we can be a part of their lives, because we’ve had a lot of changed lives and the kids love coming to church,” says Pastor Hawkins.

You can stay up to date with the church on their Facebook page.

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