The Crestview Church of the Nazarene was re-established in September 2018 by Pastor Joe Bennett and his wife, Suzanne. In May 2019, Ed Mitchell approached them about hosting a free lunch for homeless and low-income people in Crestview. They did not hesitate to ask "when can we do it?" So, in June 2019, they started Dinner @ Dad's.
When God called us to return to Crestview, Florida, we knew we had to be different. We felt called to be a community of Christ-followers—an example of the early church that Jesus built.
“They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone kept feeling a sense of awe; and many wonders and signs were taking place through the apostles. And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.
Day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47 NASB)
We started with donated clothing and household goods and a yard sale. We purchased items to make boxes of easy-to-cook healthy meals, and we gave them to families in need. After some time praying to seek God’s will, we met Ed Mitchell, who brought the idea of a monthly free lunch. But after the first meal, we learned that a person could get a free hot meal in Crestview every day EXCEPT for Sunday, which we felt was the one day of the week churches should be serving God and His people.”
Therefore, we took from the abundance God blessed us with. With help from other volunteers, we started serving a complete church potluck for Sunday dinner every Sunday afternoon. More than 2 years later, homeless and disadvantaged people can be found sitting across the table with local business professionals, physicians, and even government officials on any given Sunday.
Our goal is to bring the love of Christ to the city of Crestview in Florida and the rest of the world.