Established in 1982
In 1982 a small men’s prayer breakfast group from First Baptist Church of Huntersville felt God’s call to feed the hungry worldwide. Raising money from the community was a novel idea for the members of First Baptist. Until then, they had always felt the money should come from within the congregation.
“We felt God pointing to a need in the community for affordable items as well as food,” Bev Clayton, one of the founders said. “It took some convincing,” Clayton said. “The members knew it was important and there was an obvious need, but fundraising outside of offerings and tithes was a new concept.”
The motion was brought before the church and passed. Bev became the very first World Hunger Day Chairman.
Clayton added, “It was a response to serve and as a result, countless lives have been touched, our community has been helped, and it is one of the most important legacies of our church.”
It gets results for our community.
That first year, a yard sale on the grounds raised more than $1,000 for the World Hunger Fund. Over the years, World Hunger Day has involved a 5K walk and run, live and silent auctions, bake sales, barbecues, and more. At the heart of the effort has always been the yard sale. Every year, except for 2020 because of the pandemic, people gather on the grounds of First Baptist to sort and price donations.
Most of the money is used right here in Huntersville. Programs supported include Caterpillar Ministries, Angels & Sparrows, Loaves & Fishes, the Community Breakfast at First Baptist, as well as Friends Empowering Haiti.
Bridges are built.
The community has looked forward to World Hunger Day for decades. The fundraiser provides needed items, money for food, and a chance for everyone to come together and build relationships.
There is usually great weather.
Members of the congregation pray specifically that the weather be good for the event. With a few exceptions over 41 years, the weather has always been beautiful.
Students are involved.
Youth jump in and help with set up and tear down. Last year Lake Norman Christian School students joined with the First Baptist youth group to provide much-needed help. Youth and children’s choirs provide entertainment. Key clubs and other school organizations have pitched in over the years, too.
Generations work together.
World Hunger Day is a family affair. People look forward to working with family as they serve God and the community in the fundraising efforts. Countless people literally grew up working in World Hunger and returned home for the event.