Making A Difference: Pastor Ronald Van Wilbon - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Making A Difference: Pastor Ronald Van Wilbon

SMITH COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This story sort of works on several levels at once. But it started several years ago with the church that Pastor Ronald van Wilbon started 27 years ago in Raleigh, and leads up to some great Bar-B-Que.

Pastor Wilbon moved back home to Smith County again 27 years ago and began a small ministry here on the property where the many-times-enlarged Open Bible Tabernacle stands today.

"I've tried to visit other states and tried to live in a few of them," said Pastor Wilbon. "But I always wind right back up here in smith county. Ain't no place like it."

Now, a quarter of a decade later, Raleigh's only Bar-B-Que restaurant went out of business. And Pastor Wilbon, keen to the ever mysterious workings of the lord, decided the church needed to buy it; for several reasons. Among those reasons, the area needed a convenient place to get Bar-B-Que.

"We even kept the name that he had, Round Back Bar-B-Que," said Pastor Wilbon.

And looking at the makeup of his congregation, he saw that a restaurant was a natural fit for his church.

>> Pastor Ronald van Wilbon/Raleigh, smith county: we had some of the best cooks you ever wanted to see. And we would sell dinners throughout the church and have fundraisers and things. And people would buy it and we'd haul food and do catering jobs to Georgia pacific and places like that, right through the church. So the lord just put it in my spirit one day and said you could make a business out of this for the church. >>

Walt: and when the rib place became available, the church bought it. Right now it covers its expenses. The idea is someday it will earn enough to help pay off the church debt. Plus, it is giving some of the members of the church jobs.

>> Pastor Wilbon: yes sir, members of the church is the cooks and they employing some of the members here. And that's just been a great thing because we was able to create some jobs. And people getting good bar-B-que at the same time.

>> Walt: it's not a huge thing. But it's some-thing. And it's a creative way for this church to make a little bit if a difference. And all you need is a few "some-things" like this scattered about doing what they can where they can to add up and make a big difference.

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