For Pine Acres Church (PAC) in Weatherford, Oklahoma, coffee is more than a blend of flavors; it is a way to blend generations and grow relationships and ministry.
Every Thursday morning, church members gather for Coffee Club to share a cup of coffee, fellowship, welcome new faces, get to know each other and even serve the church’s children ministry.
Sharon Simmons, 88-year-old matriarch of the club, says the idea for the club began to brew after hearing about a similar ministry at a friend’s church with two objectives: to provide a place to fellowship for those within the church and to be an outreach for those outside of it.
“I had a friend who developed Alzheimer’s, and his wife went with him to their church’s coffee hour every week,” Simmons says. “It looked to me like having a fellowship time at church that is familiar to people and more than just Sunday morning might not only be a blessing to those with Alzheimer’s but could be a blessing to mothers with littles ones, people on their way to work and community members who don’t have a church, too. I also realized our church had become comfortable ministering just to each other, as many churches can do. This was a way we could reach out to the community, and people could stop by and also have fellowship.”
The Coffee Club met for the first time on March 23, 2023, in the church foyer and every Thursday since has been hosted by volunteers who bring a sweet treat, offer coffee provided by the church and welcome the members of multiple generations who walk through the door every week.
Nancy Fast, PAC secretary, says the Coffee Club has also been a perk for the church’s children’s ministry as much as for the hearts around the room.
“Our children’s ministry stays active, and our children’s director has had a lot of things going on which creates a lot of things to do,” Fast says. “Early on, the Coffee Club asked if they could help, so she brings her materials to the Coffee Club, and many of those ladies are very happy to do whatever she needs to do. One day, the Coffee Club cut out about 500 paper airplanes for VBS and at least three of the members stayed almost all day after coffee to help her hang them and other VBS décor, which was a huge help.”
From homeschool moms with children to retired couples and singles, Fast says the club is a blend of people having a good time, and the hope is for continued growth of people from every walk of life in order to minster to them, one cup of coffee at a time.
Caitlyn Decker is a 2021 graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, having majored in agriculture with a minor in mass communications. Beginning in high school, Decker has written for local newspapers, small businesses, the university campus newspaper and public relations office as well as freelancing. She and her husband, Caleb, live on a farm near New Hopedale Mennonite Church, Meno, Oklahoma, where they are members. They also serve as youth group sponsors.