Provision Closet Update – Winter 2014
Needs (Items currently requested)
- Gift cards (all varieties): Walmart, Target, restaurant cards (national chains— both fast food and sit-down eateries), Starbucks, iTunes, Best Buy, Lowe’s, etc.
- Full size sheets (300+ thread count)
- Pyrex baking dish sets
- Baking sheets
- Pampered Chef items
The History, Purpose and Location of the Steward Provision Closet
The third resolution of the 1962 minutes reads: “Be it resolved that the convention set up a Provision Closet which would provide linens, stainless steel flatware, and other domestic items for our missionaries who go to the field.” Mrs. Eunice Edwards, then executive secretary, established the closet as directed.
The closet is located at the Free Will Baptist National Offices building in Antioch, Tennessee. The warehouse-styled storage area has floor to ceiling shelving and metal cabinets on the other two. Items are organized and arranged to make it easy for missionaries to find what is needed.
Who supports the closet?
The closet is stocked through the sacrificial giving of women all over the United States. This ministry provides women with an opportunity to share what they have been given in tangible ways. Current needs are posted below.
Throughout the year, WNAC receives items from local, district, and state groups. Gift cards have become a popular item in recent years, providing the missionary with a way to purchase items not found in the closet. Cash gifts are utilized for purchases when the missionary needs items while on their field of service.
Who are the beneficiaries?
Originally, the closet serviced only international missionaries. But as it grew and expanded, so did its outreach. Today, all Free Will Baptist missionaries are served, both home and international. We meet the needs of our MKs (missionary kids) when they set up their dorm rooms. We also meet the needs of Bible Institutes across the world.
These items are given free of charge to missionaries, keeping them from spending money from their accounts for household items. This allows them to build funds to return to the field. Missionaries are introduced to the closet during their orientation, and time is allowed in their schedule to “shop” and be introduced to this ministry.
Remembering Lucille Steward
Lucille Steward, long-time WNAC field worker in Michigan, caught the burden for this ministry and is well-known for pushing the Michigan women to stock the closet. The Missionary Provision Closet was renamed the “Steward Provision Closet” in 2008, in memory of Lucille and Wendell Steward for their many years of labor for the closet at the 2008 National Convention.