Rev. Fred Durant of St. Mary's Baptist Church in Lincoln said more than 200 were served Thanksgiving food in Zinn Park Saturday.
"Anyone could show up," Durant said. "We provided a full course meal, had prayer and gave words of encouragement."
Durant said his church has provided free Thanksgiving meals to Anniston's underprivileged residents for the last seven years. Durant said Anniston Funeral Service, Walmart and Winn-Dixie funded much of the event. Church members pitched in and donated food, while two area churches, Crossroads Baptist Church and Oconee Baptist Church, helped serve it.
Along with annual Thanksgiving meals, Durant's church offers free sack lunches every Saturday to the poor in Anniston. An Anniston native, Durant still wants to help his hometown whenever he can.
"Just the size of Anniston, the loss of jobs, the amount of homelessness, the harvest is here in Anniston," Durant said. "I just have a heart for the people of Anniston."
Durant said he wants to encourage disadvantaged area residents to keep the faith and people with more means to be thankful for their success.
"People should be grateful for what God has done in their lives," Durant said. "Because it could be the other way around and them who are being fed."
Two other Anniston churches will be hosting Thanksgiving events today.
Renovation Ministries will provide 500 needy families with Thanksgiving dinner at 2 p.m. at Carver Community Center. This will be the fourth year Renovation Ministries has hosted the Thanksgiving event.
Meanwhile, Interfaith Ministries will host its annual community Thanksgiving service at 4 p.m. at 17th Street Missionary Baptist Church. The service will feature music, readings and free refreshments.
Staff writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561. On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.