By Ashley Perham
Baptist and Reflector
KNOXVILLE — Mike Parker had never pastored before coming to Riverview Baptist Church, Knoxville, in January 2020 to help with church revitalization.
“You hired a missionary, and so we’re going to do missions,” he told the congregation of around 20. “That’s how we’re going to get this thing going.”
Six weeks later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Parker knew the church needed to start doing outreach so he started a food pantry as an opportunity to help the community.
Parker, who is bivocational, has run a food pantry in Guatemala since 2008. Clubhouse Guatemala is still his full-time job.
Parker described East Knoxville as a working class community that doesn’t have a lot of money. In April 2020, he applied for a Compassion Ministries grant for $2,000 to start the pantry. The grant money came from the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. [Read more…]