By Karen McBride
Published Dunndeal Gazettes, July 2022
Pastor C.J. Johns Following his Calling from the Lord
Pastor C. J. Johns has been a Christian for all of his adult life, attending services and Bible studies, and raising his children in Christ. Early on, the Lord had placed it on his heart to become a pastor, but he ran from it. He was in the banking industry for many years and busy with life’s challenges. It wasn’t until 12 years ago that he followed his calling to become a pastor to help spread the “Love Revolution of Jesus the Christ” to help people in the community.
“I was given a vision. It is difficult for seniors to ask for help, and that is the impetus for how this entire endeavor [Father and Son Love Free Food Pantry ] started,” said Pastor Johns.
The Food Pantry is Helping the Food Insecure and Seniors
The two commandments that Jesus gave in the New Testament are “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22: 37-39).
Father and Son Love Ministries has taken that commandment to heart and established a food pantry for the food insecure. It is like no other pantry you have seen before. Some pantries are stocked with damaged or expired goods donated from local grocery stores.
Pastor Johns explained, “I am not that kind of man. If it is not something that I would serve my mother, then it is not something that is in our pantry.”
The clean, welcoming pantry is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, rows of neatly stacked cans, boxes, breads, milk, and much more. In addition to nine freezers full of meat, the pantry has an assortment of food provided from local restaurants such as Station House BBQ in Lutz and Nicolas doughnuts in Tampa.
Monetary Donations Needed
The food is purchased at a discounted bulk rate to fill the shelves of the pantry. Patrons are not charged a membership or ANY fee to access the pantry. With limited financial support from the community, many times Pastor Johns purchases the food with funds from his own pocket. This is where the community can help.
“With monthly donations, we can keep the pantry going,” said Pastor Johns. “Even a small amount of $100.00 can go a long way if enough corporations and individuals would support us.”
If your business is looking for a way to make a difference in our community, consider becoming a monthly partner. To make a donation, go to https://www.paypal.com/donate/?hosted_button_id=5BZJ5FSHQNUCN
The pantry feeds 1000-1500 people each week. The ministry extends south to Sarasota and east to Orlando.
Tuesdays are reserved for military personnel, first responders, and essential workers. The food pantry is open from 12:00-2:00pm. The public is welcome on Friday from 12:00-3:00pm. To find out more about the pantry, visit https://www.facebook.com/freefoodpantries.
A 4th of July “Sip & Save” event to raise funds for the pantry will be held on Saturday, July 2nd from 12pm to 3pm. Check out the Facebook page for details.
The church and pantry are located at 21418 Carson Drive, Land O Lakes, FL 34639. Sunday service is held at 10:00am. For more information about the ministry, visit https://fatherandsonloveministries.com or call (813) 846-9993.