Manna Ministries moves, still looking for permanent home

Published 3:58 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Manna Ministries, which provides food to people in need every week, has finalized its move to Shepherd's Harvest Church off Smokey Road in Alabaster. (Contributed)

Manna Ministries, which provides food to people in need every week, has finalized its move to Shepherd’s Harvest Church off Smokey Road in Alabaster. (Contributed)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – The Alabaster-based Manna Ministries is settling into its new temporary home, and is seeking the public’s help in acquiring some new equipment to provide food to those in need throughout the community.

Manna Ministries has been operating out of Shepherd’s Harvest Church on Smokey Road for about two months, but is only considering the church a “temporary location,” said Manna Ministries Director Phillis Harbin.

“We will be there until we find our new, permanent home,” Harbin said during a July 10 phone interview.

The ministry moved from its former home in the back of Alabaster First United Methodist Church’s Restore building in May after the church leaders notified Manna they needed the space to expand the church’s programs.

The Methodist Church currently uses only a portion of the former Winn Dixie building, and has converted a portion of the facility to a large auditorium and foyer. Manna had been using the back of the building – Which has not yet been converted from its grocery store setup – as its base of operations since 2012.

Alabaster First United Methodist Pastor Sherry Harris previously said growth in the church’s membership and programs has made it necessary for the church to use the entire Restore building.

Each Saturday morning, Manna Ministries provides food and a brief worship service to local people in need, and typically serves about 70 people each weekend.

Since moving to its space at Shepherd’s Harvest Church, Manna Ministries has seen a decrease in its weekly attendance, Harbin said.

“Our attendance has dropped off a little bit,” Harbin said, noting the new location is at 333 Smokey Road. “I think it’s because people still don’t know about our new location.”

Manna Ministries currently is using a portion of the Shepherd’s Harvest Church basement as its base of operations, and has placed a 12-by-24-foot storage unit on the property.

Harbin said the ministry is still in need of freezers to store frozen food items, and is looking for help in purchasing a new van to transport food from local restaurants to the church to hand out to people in need.

Anyone interested in helping Manna Ministries should call Harbin at 910-4098, or email her at