CULLMAN - Chances are that if you live in Cullman you have driven by Northbrook Baptist Church. You may know of the church, you may attend the church or you may simply know it as “the one with the fountain out front.” But what you may not know is how the church’s Caring Center helps those in our community who are in need.
“The Caring Center is a ministry of Northbrook Baptist Church and we help 10,000 people each year with food and clothing as well financial assistance with utilities and medical when funds are available,” Northbrook’s Nicky Monk said.
The Caring Center Ministry has helped the citizens of Cullman for the last 15 years and the ministry is 100 percent funded by Northbrook Baptist Church.
“We accept gently used clothing for our clothing ministry and we buy our food from the Food Bank of North Alabama located in Huntsville,” said Monk.
The Caring Center is open Tuesday mornings from 9-11:30 a.m. and Thursday evenings from 5-7 p.m. to allow those who work during the day to access the Caring Center if they are in need of assistance.
Northbrook staffs their Caring Center with volunteers, from Northbrook members to members of other churches who believe in the mission of the Caring Center.
“The Caring Center has 50 plus volunteers who are there every Tuesday or Thursday to give their time and hearts to the less fortunate of Cullman,” explained Monk. “They help pack food boxes, sort and hang clothing. They help families find the clothing they need and then help them carry it to their car. They listen to their life stories and pray with them. Their only motivation is to be like Jesus to these families. We also help many discouraged and many elderly people. We have many children come with their parents. We do our best to let everyone know that they are safe at the Caring Center, they are respected and that we love them with the love of Jesus Christ.”
Northbrook runs the Caring Center year-round, but they have special programs around the holidays.
“The program is a year-round ministry. Even though we have special events during the Christmas season, we help all year. We do a back-to-school event in August. This past year we helped over 200 students from all the city and county schools with backpacks and all the school supplies they could carry,” Monk said. “This Christmas we helped an additional 76 families with a special food box with hygiene items that the families could not buy with food stamps.”
The program is completely self-sustained by those who believe in helping others and trying to be more Christ-like each and every day.
“My wife and I have been doing this ministry for 16 years,” said Monk. “We have watched many of the children that come to the center grow up. We consider many of the families that come here to be friends. Our hearts have been broken a few times, but there are so many times we have been blessed to be part of this ministry. I think any of our volunteers would tell the same thing. We plan on helping the less fortunate in our community, and Northbrook is planning on continuing to support its ministry at the Caring Center.”
Northbrook Baptist Church is located at 3691 Alabama Highway 157 East in Cullman. Find them online at http://northbrookbc.com or call them at 256-734-6401.
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