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Sheffield Church Serving Community Through Bread, Feeding Ministry

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SHEFFIELD, Ala. (WHNT) - Feeding people physically and spiritually, and doing it with compassion is the mission of a Shoals church. Every week, members of Abundant Grace Church go outside the church building to reach people in need.

Steven Pochop says he isn't your typical pastor.

"Because I'm an ex-alcoholic, ex-drug addict and I've been homeless," explains Pochop. "I've been in jail 48 times and prison twice. God saved me in prison and the day he saved me in prison he called me to preach. I argued with him, but he won."

Pochop answered that call to preach 32 years ago. His past shapes the way Abundant Grace Church in Sheffield handles people - with love. They've adopted one simple way to show it - bread.

"Well, there's a loaf of bread and there's hot dog and hamburger buns," describes volunteer Leon Wesson. "Sometimes we get snack cakes and rolls."

Wesson has been a part of the bread ministry for more than a decade. Each week, a local distributor donates bread. Volunteers unload it, sort it, bag it, load it in a van, then deliver it despite outdoor conditions.

"We go out in the rain, hot sun, in the cold," says Pochop. "I don't know if we've ever done it while it was snowing"

Volunteers like Leon Wesson know what they're doing is about more than just handing out bread.

"I'm sure we're doing God's work," says Wesson.

The recipients are grateful, for the bread and the kind

"They'll literally chase people down sometimes to tell them thank you," says Pochop. "The elderly folks that we serve have literally cried and thanked us because they said it's like giving them a brick of gold because they don't have the money to go out and buy the bread."