Lead Pastor Gary Lamb and the congregation of Action Church in Canton want those in need to know that talk is cheap and actions speak louder than words.
Today the congregation is hosting “Operation Action” from 1 to 5 p.m. at the church at 271 Marietta Highway in the old McFarland Grocery Store.
Those stopping by can get free hot dogs and enjoy fun for the kids, but also receive free hair cuts, medical attention, a week’s worth of free groceries and clothing.
Canton Police will be there giving RadKidz demonstrations along with free fingerprint ID kits for the parents to take home. The Canton Fire Department with have one of their fire trucks there for those coming to the event to enjoy.
“Action Church exists because we believe ‘talk is cheap.’” Lamb said. “We will be giving away free food to feed each family for a week along with free clothing.”
In addition, there will be bounce houses, face painting and balloon animals for the children. Bethesda Medical Clinic will be on-site for free blood pressure and blood sugar checks.
Lamb was the pastor at Revolution Church for five years after he started the church eight years ago. He started the new church to serve the community after he himself “self-imploded” and went through a difficult divorce situation leading to his loss of the Revolution Church position.
“Action Church is straight up about serving our community,” he said. “We intentionally came to the center of town, the poorest part of town, to set up and serve the people.”
Lamb said many people in the area were skeptical at first because many churches had come in and tried to serve the needs.
“Behind us people are living in tents,” Lamb said of the homeless tent community in the fields behind the old grocery store. “We discovered the needs, for food in this economy, medical needs, and we tried to see how we can let them know that we want to serve them, that we just love them.
Lamb calls Action Church the church of second chances. “This congregation is probably the most diverse you have ever seen — we have people who make six figures sitting next to homeless, Outlaw motorcycle gang members sitting next to gang bangers, a racially diverse crowd of people,” Lamb said.
Lamb said the church also has a Christ-centered 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery that meets Friday nights at the church at 6 p.m. for dinner, with large group meeting at 7 and support groups at 8. About 75 people attend each week.
The church recently opened Second Chance Thrift and More at 920 Waleska Road in the building that formerly housed a health food store. The store sells clothes, furniture and a variety of items, and also accepts donations.
“This has exceeded our expectations already,” Lamb said. The goal is to make $250,000 annually off the store to put back into the community through the church’s service projects.
Lamb said the church does not do the outreach programs to build the congregation, but to help those in need.
“If people just want to sit in a seat each Sunday, this is probably not the church for them,” Lamb said.
For information. visit www.actionchurch.tv or follow Lamb or Action Church on Facebook.