Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries, Inc. (The Lord's Kitchen ministry parent organization) is a non-profit organization, comprised of volunteers from across the community and area churches, established in 1993 as a branch of the Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene. It is governed by a board of directors, making decisions concerning compassionate care for individuals in the surrounding community. Both Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene and Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries have been ministering out of the former St. Charles Catholic Church, which the Church of the Nazarene purchased in 1990.
Because of the location in a socio-economically depressed geographical area of northeast lower Michigan, Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries currently supports four ministries, born out of the needs of the people served: The Lord’s Kitchen (a soup kitchen), a summer breakfast program, an annual Back to School event, and a laundry ministry. The Lord’s Kitchen is a five day a week endeavor. Free lunch is served at noon Monday through Friday. Volunteers serve between 25 and 70 meals each day.
A laundry ministry was created in 2010 to help those with tight limited budgets do their laundry for free. Because the facility is only open to the public Monday through Friday between the hours of 9am and 1pm, individuals must call to reserve a two hour time slot to use the washers and dryers during that time. Individuals can call 231-627-1173 to reserve the laundry facilities, which helps between eight and twelve families each week.
The annual Back to School Event began in 2006 and offers backpacks full of school supplies, haircuts, prizes, food and entertainment to area students. Between 440 and 500 backpacks are distributed each year, usually on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in August, and coordinators of this event rely upon over 40 community volunteers from area churches and beyond to serve the local students. During the summer months, a free breakfast is served on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9am. People of all ages are welcome to eat breakfast consisting of bagels, fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cereal, granola bars, juice and milk.
In 2007, The Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene sold the building they bought in 1990 to purchase eight acres of property within the city limits. Both the church and Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries have continued to use the existing building while raising funds and planning to construct a simple, functional new building, with the hopes of being able to break ground in the summer of 2021 and move from their current location.
About $400,000 is needed to erect and furnish a new building, one which will be energy efficient, barrier-free and provide space for all the ministries of Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries as well as for the church. The new building will have a large kitchen, room for food storage, a large dining hall, as well as a bigger laundry room, along with a new feature of ADA compliant, all accessible showers for those in the community who may have need. The building will also contain office and classroom space to accommodate church activities.
Fundraising efforts over the past two and a half years, totaling around $195,000, have included bake sales, rummage sales, and fish fry dinners. Donations have also been received from trusts, grants, individual donors, various churches and special offerings. We need approximately $195,000 more in order to begin the foundation and get the physical building itself constructed. Cheboygan Compassionate Ministries and Cheboygan Church of the Nazarene are hoping the community will take up this challenge and help raise the necessary funds to help the needy in this community. Find us on facebook (Lord’s Kitchen) or our website www.cheboygancompassion.com. To contact the administrators, Pastors Jon and Wynne Schott, call 231-627-1173 between the hours of 9am and 1pm. Financial donations can be sent to 221 N. Bailey Street, or can be given online @ https://www.continuetogive.com .