150,000 Meals Packed in Johnson City, TN

In 2018 as Central Baptist Church of Johnson City, TN began planning for their 150th anniversary in 2019, they talked about the usual aspects of such a celebration – remembering the great history of the church, having a huge dinner-on-the-grounds celebration, and so forth. But they also wanted a way to show their community how much they love them and how much God loves them.

They invited David Crocker (Inasmuch Founder and former pastor of CBC) to work with the 150th Anniversary Team specifically regarding a community-wide service event. He suggested that they conduct a food packing event in which 150,000 nutritional meals would be packed. Their immediate response was “Let’s do it!” On April 6, 2019, over 500 volunteers from Central Baptist Church, other area churches, and other groups in Johnson City packed 150,000 meals for the hungry people of Northeast Tennessee. View some pictures from the event here.

These meals were donated to Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee serving eight counties in the northeast corner of TN. Second Harvest will distribute them through their normal channels of distribution over several months. Executive Director, Rhonda Chaffin, said: “Thousands of our neighbors in northeast TN will receive these meals. You have truly taken ‘a bite’ out of hunger through this event.”

Eight churches, four schools, United Way, Gideons, and five local companies sent volunteers. A total of 575 volunteers worked in this huge event. Jeff Keller was Central Baptist’s coordinator for this event. He said: “The church wanted to mark the milestone with something other than a big cake. Our 150th coincides with the sesquicentennial of the city where the church first held services in 1869.”

David Crocker said: “This is by far the largest food packing event in which Inasmuch has been involved. Yet, it was one of the smoothest and most fun. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with some of my old friends in doing something to show the entire community how much Central Baptist Church cares for them.”

Inasmuch has had a banner year so far in 2019 in food packing, having packed 265,000 meals already with another 100,000 “on the books” for the remainder of the year. One of those events for later this year came as a direct result of the large event in April in Johnson City. A Lutheran Church in Johnson City has scheduled their own event in which 20,000 meals will be done in October.

To learn more about our food packing ministry and how your church or organization can host your own click here.

Hundreds of Orphans Fed

For the second consecutive year, Operation Inasmuch is shipping 130,000 nutritious meals to Guatemala which will provide good food to many hundreds of orphans in that country. Operation Inasmuch has partnered with Orphans Resources International (PA) to make this food available to some of the most vulnerable people on the planet.

David Crocker, Founder of Operation Inasmuch, says: “We are extremely pleased to be able to provide so much nutritious food at no cost to Guatemalan children. Many of us have seen the devastation brought on by a major eruption in that poor country. Our hope is the food we have given will help alleviate some of the suffering there.”

Some of the children at these orphanages are shown in this article receiving the food donated by Inasmuch. The food is prepared on site and served warm to the children.

The Inasmuch ministry began offering food packing events to churches and other groups as an extension of our ministry five years ago. We did not seek this opportunity, but it is now clear that God brought it to us. Altogether Inasmuch has staged packing events in four states totaling about 750,000 meals… and most of these meals have gone to Guatemala. [Read more…]

Need + Passion = Lifestyle Compassion Ministry

Bill and Judi Willard had no intention of establishing a regular, long-term ministry to the veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters (VRQ) in Asheville, NC, when they agreed to prepare and serve breakfast one Saturday as one of the projects of the Beverly Hills Baptist Church (Asheville) Inasmuch Day, but that’s what happened. That was 2008. Ten years later they and friends from their church are preparing and serving a home-cooked meal to about 100 veterans once a month. (Judi is the youngest sister of David Crocker.)

David Crocker, Founder of the Inasmuch ministry, often says: “When we do what God tells us to do, He always has more in mind.” With the Willards, it was to serve up fried okra and/or pork loin and/or made-from-scratch cake or a variety of menus to the veterans at the VRQ every month for 10+ years.

The Willards have gotten their Sunday School Class involved, too. For a while the Willards were covering the costs of the meals they served but it became more than they could do, so they asked the class to help. Now the class totally covers the costs. Also, as many as 20 members of the class have served alongside the Willards from time to time. [Read more…]

Quarters for Jesus

How long would it take to collect $700 in quarters? Answer: 2.5 months . . . IF you go to Sunday School classes every week during that period of time . . . and IF you are collecting quarters for an Inasmuch laundromat project . . . and IF you have a cute, little girl dressed in an Inasmuch shirt collecting for you!

David Crocker (former Executive Director of the national Operation Inasmuch ministry), Interim Pastor of First Baptist Church, Weaverville, NC says: “When we decided to include in our Inasmuch event this spring ministering to people at the local laundromat by feeding the washing machines and dryers quarters as well as otherwise helping people with their laundry, we were told it would take a lot of quarters to do that. So, we made that a weekly collection task during Sunday School and we collected far more quarters than we needed!”

Pictured here is Carissa Alexander, a first grader at FBC, Weaverville who was tapped by Crocker to go from class to class asking for quarters. It became something everyone looked forward to. Some brought medicine bottles or sandwich bags filled with quarters. Some gave “folding money” which was later changed into quarters.

Crocker says: “The plastic jug we used to collect the quarters soon became too heavy for Carissa to carry, so we found a small wagon in which she placed the jug and pulled the wagon from class to class. It was one of the most effective fundraising efforts I’ve ever seen! Let’s just say the class of senior adult men were helpless against Carissa’s pleas for quarters!”

In addition to raising a lot of quarters, collecting quarters for Jesus became one of the most talked about things we did to promote our Inasmuch event. As Carissa was collecting quarters in a classroom filled with adults, Crocker reminded everyone about the upcoming Inasmuch event and how they could be involved. The church had 75 percent of their average Sunday morning attendance involved in their Inasmuch event.

First Baptist Church partnered with Weaverville United Methodist Church, First Presbyterian Church, and Woodland Hills Church for Inasmuch United Weaverville on April 28, 2018. Two hundred volunteers completed 22 projects, served 1,254 people for a dollar value of $18,332 for their event.

Crocker quips: “This is what I will be remembered for at First Baptist, not the sermons I preached or visits I made, but the collection of quarters for Jesus. And that’s just fine with me!”

Inasmuch Feeds Orphans

Volunteers from Central Baptist of Bearden in Knoxville packing meals.

For the third time in four years, Operation Inasmuch has sent thousands of meals to Guatemala… this time to feed orphans in as many as 50 orphanages.  In two food packing events in Knoxville, Tennessee 100,000 meals were prepared by about 450 volunteers.  This month these meals were shipped to Guatemala and will be distributed by Orphans Resources to children in 50 orphanages.  Visit our Facebook page to view pictures from the events.

Rod Martin, President of Orphans Resources says: “I would like to thank Operation Inasmuch and all their supporters who put this food together.  It will go to 50+ orphanages in Guatemala Central America and feed 2700 orphans.  The homes tell us many times that they could not exist without the donations of food products.  May God bless you richly for caring for the orphans as God has directed his people to do so many times in the Bible.”

Food packing projects have been an auxiliary ministry within the larger Inasmuch ministry since 2013.  David Crocker, Founder of the Inasmuch ministry and coordinator of the packing projects says: “When we got into the packing ‘business’ we really didn’t know what to expect.  We knew it fit who we are and what we do in terms of our mission, but we weren’t sure how it would go.  Well, here we are several years and about three quarters of a million meals later no longer wondering about it!”

“In our first year, we packed more than 300,000 meals,” says Crocker.  “The next year we did about the same.  And this year we have done 140,000 meals and expect to exceed 250,000 by year end.” [Read more…]

10 Years and Going Strong in Essex County, VA

Any one who has ever started something knows how hard it is to keep it going.  New events, organizations or programs usually begin with an exciting vision—dreams about what is possible, about how the world (maybe just the community) will be better as a result of the vision–but that vision almost always fades with the passing of time.  And its initiators are left with less going for them than when they began.

So, when a handful of “dreamers” in Essex County, Virginia on the southern shore of the Rappahannock River not far from the Atlantic began Inasmuch United Essex in 2008, their vision was many of the congregations of various denominations and races working together to serve people in need in their community.  David Crocker, Founder of Inasmuch says: “I remember clearly the training session in early 2008 in Tappahannock.  One percent of the total county population turned out to participate!  I knew then that something unusual was afoot in that small Virginia community.  It is no surprise that ten years later Inasmuch United is still going strong there.” [Read more…]

Happy Birthday, Inasmuch!

Where were you ten years ago? What were you involved in that had the potential of impacting the Kingdom of God?

A small group—no more than 40 people—was assembled in the Beaver Creek Country Club, Knoxville, Tennessee dining room on January, 2007 for the purpose of launching the full-time ministry Operation Inasmuch, Inc.  While documents establishing the ministry officially with the IRS (501-c-3 status) and the state of Tennessee (charter) had already been filed, until January, 2007, the Inasmuch ministry as we know it today did not exist.

“There was excitement, for sure,” says David Crocker, Founder and only employee of Inasmuch at the time, “but there were more than a few questions for which only time would provide the answers. Will this work? Will churches want to do Inasmuch in sufficient numbers to make the ministry viable? Will Inasmuch succeed where other start-up non-profits have failed in large numbers? Is Inasmuch sustainable?” [Read more…]

What’s in Your Toolbox?

Every minister that has been at it for a while has a toolbox of ministries—ideas, programs, “tricks of the trade” he has used in prior places of service.  These are tried and true ideas he can implement in a new place of service which will enhance his church’s effectiveness as well as the congregation’s confidence in their pastor.

Pastor David Grinnell of People’s Memorial Christian Church, Burlington, North Carolina has Operation Inasmuch in his toolbox and he knows how to use it!  It served him well in a Baptist church in Jefferson and Hickory, North Carolina and it has “worked” well again recently at People’s Memorial where 136 volunteers completed 24 projects serving 972 people in need in the Burlington community. [Read more…]

Inasmuch Facilitates Public-Private Partnership

Public-private partnerships are the rage in communities—collaborative efforts involving public or governmental entities, private agencies and churches.  Just such a partnership took place in May in High Point, North Carolina and Inasmuch was the tool that brought it together.

When David Crocker visited with the principals of this partnership in June, they were thrilled with how well their Inasmuch event went.  They had more volunteers than they needed.  They saved the City many thousands of dollars since the home repairs were done by volunteers.  The president of the Home Owners Association in the neighborhood where the projects took place said more owners have joined the HOA and a general sense of pride in the neighborhood has been on the rise since the Inasmuch event.  A well done video tells the story of this amazing partnership.  It may be seen above or by clicking here. [Read more…]

Schools Get Boost from Inasmuch

United Sweetwater

Increasingly, public schools are considered off-limits for churches and church groups.  Not so in Sweetwater, Tennessee.  At their May meeting, the Sweetwater School Board recognized four churches that held their first Inasmuch United Sweetwater for the work they did on behalf of several of their schools in April.  Three hundred volunteers from First Baptist, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist and First Assembly of God fanned out throughout the small town between Knoxville and Chattanooga conducting 26 Inasmuch projects and serving their community including work done at the schools.

In 2015, First Baptist, Sweetwater conducted their first Inasmuch Day with two-thirds of their members participating.  Encouraged by that success, they wanted to make it bigger and better this year, so they invited the 3 other congregations to join them.  David Crocker trained a team from all the churches how to expand the Inasmuch Day to an Inasmuch United.  At least six other congregations in Sweetwater have already asked if they can participate in 2017!! [Read more…]