From the Indianapolis Star (September 9, 2007)
Lucious Newsom's story
Lucious Newsom, 91, has spent more than 20 years handing out free food to the poor in Indianapolis through his Lord's Pantry ministry. In summer 2006, he opened a community center in Stringtown named Anna's House for Anna Malloy, a little girl who has been a devoted volunteer for his ministry. The center provides education, medical care, tutoring and free food to those who need it.
"I'm 91 years old, and I've been in Indianapolis for 21 years. I came here for this cause. I had seen the Mozel Sanders dinner and I thought that was great, that Thanksgiving Day. But then that Friday, I wanted to help again and I was told that they only do this once a year. I thought it was very disgraceful to feed over 20,000 people one day and then your food's so good, it'll last a whole year.
"I'm from Chattanooga, Tenn., and I lived kind of in the mountains. I wasn't used to seeing a lot of people where people didn't help them.
"What motivated me to come to Indianapolis? To see the poor being exploited by people who professed to be serving the poor, and they were really using them. They were not. They weren't doing it to the glory of God. They were just doing it for their own edification.
"I have given up everything to serve the Lord. I'm no longer a seasoning manufacturer. I gave it away -- gave it to my children . . . to my wife, so they could live. And I don't get any funds from home. I live by faith. That's how I live, and doing pretty good, ain't I? Ain't lost any weight.
"My life is given over to the Lord Jesus to do with me as he sees fit. I'm not my own. I now belong to Jesus, all of me -- my hands, my feet, my voice, all of me now belong to Jesus. And I serve him, not the poor.
"I don't consider the people as the poor. I consider these people as me being able to serve Jesus through them for whatsoever you do to the least of them, Jesus said, you do it also to me.
"I beg. All the food that you see in here this morning I begged. We pay utility bills, rent. We bury the dead. Last year, we buried six people out of this community who had no funeral expense money, and we were blessed to be able to go out and get the money and bury them.
"Poverty will never go away. It's not meant to go away. I'm a Bible believer, and Jesus said the poor you will have with you always. They will never go away. They'll always be here.
"I can't help these older people. I can't get them out of poverty. But all of these young ones that come through here, they're gonna be scientists, doctors, attorneys, nurses, secretaries . . . you name it. The cream of the crop is gonna come right from this town. 'Cause if we help them to get a good education, I'm gonna guarantee you they won't be in poverty.
"Just every time you get an opportunity, do some good for somebody who don't have it. It will make you richer for doing it.
"That's what the Lord's Pantry is really all about. We're about serving the Lord. It's not about Lucious or anybody else."
Until next time, serve faithfully.