Men's Breakfast Report, February 2011
The Men’s Breakfast Group met Saturday, February 12 with Kendall Graham, pastor of First Wesley United Methodist Church of Clute.
Kendall was born in Jamaica and moved to New York as a young man where he was trained as an accountant. He had a good job with a house, family, a nice car and other luxuries. But he still felt something was missing. He accepted a job offer in Houston and moved down here. After he got here the job evaporated and he ended up homeless, sleeping on a friend’s couch with only a five dollar bill left. As it was Sunday, he decided to go to church. The sermon that day was to give God a chance. When the collection plate came around he put his five dollar bill in the plate and then immediately wished he hadn’t, since he had no way to buy food that day. However, a parishioner invited him to dinner so that problem was solved. The next day, without a cent, he wondered what to do. The mailman came by and inquired if he was Kendall Graham. When he said he was, the mailman gave him a letter which contained a check for 300 dollars. He then took the bus downtown and had it let him off in the business district. Since he knew nothing about Houston, he entered the first big bank he saw, and went to look at their job postings. While he was looking, the human relations manager saw him and asked what he was looking for. It turned out they just had an opening for someone with his experience. He started work on that Thursday. He credits his good fortune with putting faith in the Lord.
Later on he became a Methodist minister and served in several churches before coming to Clute. He first thought that Clute was a demotion since he had been at a larger church. This church had parishioners who were fighting for personal power. Wesley has parishioners who are working together for the Lord and he now believes that this is a much better situation.
Wesley is a medium size church with about eighty members of which about half attend on Sundays. The membership is generally older with many members in their sixties. Like most churches they are trying to get younger members.
The church’s main outreach is a food pantry which serves Clute. Most of its food comes from stores in Houston. Members take a trailer each week to Houston to pick up food for distribution. The have noticed that produce donated by supermarkets is generally of poor quality by the time they get it. They also have a large amount of land at their church so they decided to grow food for their pantry. They have constructed four raised beds four by forty feet long and have plowed up a garden 100 by 160 feet. They are also planning an orchard. Planting will take place soon in their gardens. They are partnering with the Master Gardeners and the agricultural extension service for expertise. They are also inviting other volunteer groups to participate with maintaining the gardens. Everyone is invited to come see their work at their church and help in their mission. The church is located on Wesley Drive in Clute. Wesley Drive comes off the west side of Business Rte. 288 between Stroud Funeral Home and Los Paisas Restaurant.
As usual, everyone had an interesting discussion and a good meal. Th next meeting will be Saturday, March 12.