The Community Café
Building a Community That Cares So All May Eat
The Story of The Community Café
In November 2009 two pastors at River Hills Community Church in Lake Wylie, SC sent an email to all church members suggesting the church open a free cafe to aid those suffering from the effects of the economic recession. That same day, Don Murfin, a member of the church, volunteered to establish and manage the ministry. The rest is history. The kitchen opened on January 20, 2010 and 45 people were served the first lunches at The Community Café at River Hills Community Church. That Café was serving about 300 free lunches every Wednesday, with a total of 39,176 since opening, until the church leadership closed it.
On June 1, 2011 the Bethlehem Baptist Church’s Community Café opened its doors to 117 for a free evening meal. In its first year this Café served over 10,000 evening meals. The operation of this Café was turned over to the church in August 2012.
On July 27, 2012, The Community Café @ Lake Wylie Lutheran Church opened its doors to 123 guests with an additional 72 takeouts and deliveries for those who couldn't attend. The Café provides delivery to the homebound and many guests take out meals to help neighbors and friends who can't get to the Café.
The Community Café at Lake Wylie Christian Assembly opened February 5, 2013. A total of 253 meals were provided that day: 95 to in-house diners and 158 take-outs and deliveries.
The Community Cafe was opened Novevmber 27, 2014, Thanksgiving Day. The community was served a very special meal that day. We served hundreds of people that day.
There was so much joy on that special day volunteers went out on the streets spreading the word that the cafe was open. It was the grandest opening yet!
Since the first meal was served in January 2010, over 160,000 free meals have been provided to community members through The Community Café's.
Every Café meal is seasoned with the love of Jesus, which is the basic tenant to the Cafes’ Core Values, established in early 2010 and never changed:
The Community Café also supports local care centers within the community, including adult day care centers and church ministries that help the elderly, disabled and other homebound neighbors, and day shelters.