Even though it's not your typical congregation, every Sunday for the past three years, the Church Without Walls has delivered two things: a positive message and a hot plate of food. It has a big impact on the people it serves. Many of the church attendees are either homeless or low-income families who feel welcomed in this outdoor sanctuary. Associate Pastor Mel Smith said, "Without walls nobody has to qualify or dress a certain way or be a certain way, that it's open to everybody." At one point Tisha Mercer fell on hard times and was homeless for more than five months, but she says the church welcomed her with open arms. "They have helped me immensely in the past when I needed it, when I needed shelter, when I needed food and I could not feed myself," Mercer said. More than 50 people gathered to share in the Sunday service and to walk away with something to eat. Pastor James Jamison says for some, getting a helping hand is just a little positive reinforcement. "Though they come out here for the spiritual aspect, the food is a great incentive, because it gives them an opportunity to not worry about cooking dinner or worrying about using that food money for dinner that they could use for tomorrow, and just come over here and eat and we don't have a problem with that as long as they come over and get the word and get the food, we're feeding them naturally and spiritually," Jamison said. The church doesn't plan on adding walls or doors anytime soon. They believe it would just defeat the purpose of welcoming people, no matter who they are.
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