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Government Streetís Harris filling tummies, touching lives comment (0)

July 30, 2009

By Chris Mills

Members of Government Street Baptist Church, Mobile, have been eating well for the last 33 years, thanks to Hazel Harris.

Harris faithfully prepares meals for Wednesday night supper and special events — at no cost to the church.

“The church provides the food and supplies needed, but she doesn’t receive a dime for her service,” said Charles Brown, pastor of the Mobile Baptist Association church.

What Harris does receive is the joy of serving others, her husband, Roy, said. “She has the soul of a servant,” he added.

Harris affirmed that she looks at this as her outlet for service.

“I like to serve people,” she said. “I don’t serve as a Sunday School teacher or anything like that. This is my ministry.”

Of course, Harris isn’t alone in the kitchen. “I couldn’t do what I do without the help that I have,” she said. “Roy and several others give of their time each week to help get the meals served.”

Frances Robison has been helping Harris for more than 20 years.

“She is so easy to work with,” Robison said. “She enjoys what she does. She has become a dear friend as we have worked alongside each other all these years.”

Robison called Harris and her husband, who have been married for more than 60 years, a “huge encouragement” to her and her husband through their example of a godly marriage.

“It is so beautiful to see them together. They are a precious couple,” she said.

Brown noted the couple “display an outstanding commitment to Christ and the church.”

“They live on biblical principles,” he said, adding, “They are two of the most faithful members of the church.”

But even in the midst of life’s difficulties, Harris is still dedicated to her calling.

“Roy was in the hospital for a few weeks in the spring,” she recalled. “I went to the church each Wednesday afternoon and cooked the meal and came back to the hospital to be by his side. Those that help me allowed me to serve in the church and get back to be by my husband’s side.”

That’s not out of character; Harris can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t able to be where she felt she needed to be — at Government Street Baptist preparing dinner on Wednesday nights.

“I’m sure I’ve missed one or two though,” Harris said.

For the 100-plus church members gathered on Wednesday nights, her faithfulness provides not only encouragement for the spirit but also enjoyment for the stomach.

“She has so many great dishes,” Brown said. “We love her roast beef, and she is constantly trying new things for those gathered each Wednesday night. She makes sure we have something different each week.”

When asked about the most requested meal, Harris replied, “They like it all — they’re Baptists.”

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