The building that houses Flint Street Fellowship is around 115-120 years old and has always been known as The Little Chapel. It is on the historical roster of Eureka Springs. In its time, the Chapel has served a number of purposes such as a stable, filling station grocery store and possibly a feed store. For the forty years prior to our purchasing it, it has been a functioning church with Glade Miller as its Pastor. Not only did they have Sunday school and church services, there was also much activity for young people. In the basement they had a woodworking shop and sewing machines for instruction. There was also a clothes closet for some people who had needs.
During 1990 and the beginning of 1991 a few of us were involved in a Bible study downtown in the Galleria. As time went on, we all began to feel that we had more of a purpose for Eureka Springs that we should be involved some sort of ministry. It was felt by all of us that there should be a food bank. We had no money to speak of and no idea how to go about this but we did begin to gather information from other sources such as Loaves and Fishes in Berryville. Glade Miller had recently had to disband Flint Street as a church because of injury and illness and the building became for sale. Money was a problem but Pastor Miller agreed to sell us the building at a more than reasonable price and would' carry the mortgage. Alan Epley did a great deal of pro bono legal work for us since we had to be incorporated to function as a tax free entity.
We cleaned, made repairs and did a number of things that would render the building functional as a food bank. We knew that this was a work of God and that we must be totally dependent on Him for provision. When we started, we had one tiny and slightly ancient refrigerator. We also had three items on the shelves -- sweet potatoes, spinach and rice so, with this provision, we opened and found that there was indeed a need.
The provision of God began to come. One church committed to $400.00 per month which just happened to be the amount of the mortgage payment. Other donations came -- always just enough to keep the doors open. At first we encountered some opposition from a few of the community churches but in time this gave way to their support. Most of our volunteers have come from the church community. We have never lacked for good volunteers. Since this was God's work, we counted on Him to make this provision as well. We have had several Food Bank Directors all of whom have functioned under the direction of a Board of Directors.
From the very beginning, Susan McDaniel had been praying for a way for us to have a kitchen for the purpose of serving meals. We had no idea how this would come about until the local Rotary decided to lend a hand. They sponsored a money raising auction and also facilitated our getting a grant in an amount sufficient to begin renovations. The result is that we have a very complete kitchen, dining area --everything that we needed to pass inspections from The Department of Health. We have a Director and volunteers for this operation as well.
We are also connected with community and county resources for a number of helps and we try to do as much as possible with monies entrusted to us for this purpose. Somehow it all seems to work and we try to be good stewards of our provision.
Once in a while we are tempted to worry a bit when things are looking slim but always we must remember that GOD IS IN CONTROL!!!
Board of Directors
- Pat Kasper - President
- Ed Leswig - Vice President
- Ray Johnson - Treasurer
- Dianna Mancuso - Secretary
- Nile Carrothers
- Bernie Haydon
- Ken Haydon
- Betsy Porter
- Gerry Potter
- Ben Helmer
- Mickey Finefield