By Hannah Muñoz
Intern, The Alabama Baptist
CLARKSVILLE — Hilldale Baptist Church, Clarksville, raised $16,569 for a local food ministry for students during its Vacation Bible School on June 6–10.
The food subsidization program or FUEL Ministry is designed to feed children whose only food source may be the food they are receiving at school, according to its website. Several area churches gather food and funds to provide food to children in the Clarksville Montgomery County School System.
Hilldale has supported FUEL since 2009 and specifically with its VBS offering since 2012.
During this year’s VBS, Senior Pastor Larry Robertson and Preschool and Children’s Pastor Tim Muñoz set an offering goal of $12,001 with a reward of “sliming” Robertson during the final worship time on Friday afternoon. And the 708 children who attended were not disappointed.
Although the offering had not even reached $4,000 by Thursday afternoon, the boys and girls gave $12,710 on Friday alone, exceeding the goal by $4,568.
Muñoz, who also is on the FUEL board of directors, said the number of coins given was so large that the bank could not process the entire amount of the offering, so the total will rise.
Robertson offered to be “slimed” as an incentive for the children saying it was “time to come out of retirement.” He received a pie in the face each year that the boys lost before Muñoz came on staff in 2006. The offering activity included a competition between the boys and the girls.
Muñoz likes to challenge the children who attend VBS to give with these large goals because he has seen them do incredible things to break that record each year. One special goal in particular was of $6,000 in 2010. When they gave more, Muñoz shaved his head.
Hilldale regularly feeds over 200 children on the weekends through FUEL during the school year, led by Muñoz and Angela Belcher, the FUEL lay leader for the Cumberland Baptist Association church. For more information and to give to FUEL, visit fuelforkids.org.