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Homeless Ministry at Powhatan

Powhatan Ministry

Jeremy Weishaar joined Powhatan OFWB Church in Clayton in 2023 and had a calling to form an outreach program to the homeless and less fortunate. He began with the help of a few volunteers to set up tables once a week in Moore Square Park in downtown Raleigh, handing out food and talking with visitors.

The program has evolved into a more local area in Clayton where a few, regular patrons are being served. Every Monday, volunteer cook Connie Barton prepares a balanced, nutritious meal for around 10–12 with additional to-go bags of various sandwiches and snacks for the rest of the week. Other items are provided as available such as toiletries, hats, gloves, socks, etc. Weishaar and the “field crew” pick up the items at the end of the afternoon and take them out to the camp.

An official ministry of the church was established at a called business meeting in February with Weishaar as the director and Barton as secretary/treasurer. Members are helping with donations of money, food, and time. Members Steve and Brenda Sears regularly offer PB&J sandwiches and fruit or other snacks to help stretch resources.

The rising general cost of living along with devastating medical costs, high rent and mortgage rates, and loss of employment are major reasons many people find themselves homeless. Alcohol, drug abuse, and mental health challenges can be contributing factors and are often the reasons some people fear trying to reach out to the homeless population. We cannot solve the causative issues but we can show kindness to those hungry and suffering.

The clients of the ministry have already been forced to relocate once, evicted from the original camp area where they were initially being served. Weishaar found the new camp and the meal service has continued.

For anyone looking to start a ministry for the homeless, there should be someone with a dedicated calling to lead it. Volunteers are needed to cook, help provide supplies, and go out and meet the clients and serve the meals. Our group got advice from other churches and discussed regulations and safety issues with local law enforcement before starting the work. Johnston County Social Services is willing to meet with anyone at the camp if necessary to see if clients could benefit from their services and to provide assistance if available. If anyone has any questions concerning the program, email the director at

Please pray for the ministry’s continued work and for the clients in their daily struggle. The stifling heat of summer can be as devastating as the bitter cold of winter when your only shelter is a tent.

—Submitted by Rita Otto Jones, Powhatan

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