COVENTRY TWP.: The Rev. Robert Moses hit the roof on Sunday.
But it wasn’t out of anger. It was out of love for the needy.
“I shared with my congregation that there are a lot of people in our community who need help putting food on the table,” said Moses, pastor at Eagle Ministries Chapel. “I told them that the need is so great that we should be shouting it from the rooftops to draw attention to the need. Then the Lord laid something on my heart.”
With a gentle nudge from God, Moses used action rather than words by climbing a ladder to the roof of his church at 830 Rood Drive. He has vowed to camp out there for a maximum of six days or until the goal of 2,000 pounds of nonperishable food and $2,000 for perishable items is met for the ministry’s food pantry.
Moses made his way to the roof with the support of nearly 30 people who gathered at the church for a concert to kick off the food-pantry drive. The Southern Gospel concert was performed by Brenda Cole of Brenda Cole Ministries.
“I am always willing to do what I can to help others in their walk with the Lord,” said Cole, of Doylestown. “Camping out on the roof is a unique way to get attention. But I know it is being done to help those who are less fortunate and that is what we are called to do as Christians.”
About two years ago, Eagle Ministries began distributing groceries to about 20 families. That number has now quadrupled to 80 families, representing nearly 400 people.
Somehow, the small congregation of about 25 people has managed to meet the increasing need. But it has not been easy.
“I am constantly searching for the best prices to stock the shelves — sometimes that is through the (Akron-Canton Regional) Foodbank and sometimes it is at the grocery store,” said Pat Moses, the pastor’s wife. “I am very conscious of getting items that I would use myself. The people who come here are very grateful and many times, they are embarrassed to be here. Our goal is to treat everyone who walks through the door with respect and dignity.”
Eagle Ministries was founded by the Moseses in 2002 inside Rolling Acres Mall. The church moved to its current location at the German District Assemblies of God church five years ago.
The Rev. Moses said despite the congregation’s small size, it is committed to reaching out to those in need. Its outreach includes support to Haven of Rest Ministries, the Akron Pregnancy Center and missionaries serving abroad. The congregation also offers a summer reading program for children and youth and hosts a 4-H club.
The food pantry is open 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of each month. The church also distributes bread every Thursday night in partnership with Cornerstone Free Methodist Church.
Donations can be dropped off at the church from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. this week. Moses will be available to talk with donors from a platform on the roof, near the front of the church.
Moses will sleep in a dome tent that has been placed on a second platform. Today, members of the congregation are planning to place a sign at the corner of Manchester Road and Rood Drive asking passersby to “Help Get Our Pastor Off the Roof.”
A time of praise and worship is planned on Saturday, after the food drive is over.
“I am prepared to stay on the roof for the entire six days, but I am hoping we can meet the goal before that,” Moses said. “I am trying to make a statement that I hope is loud and clear — people are struggling to make ends meet and the church has a responsibility to help.”
Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or email@example.com