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Biloxi Baptists give 17,000 turkeys to families in Katrina’s path


BILOXI, Miss. (BP) — Southern Baptist volunteers gave away 17,000 Thanksgiving turkeys in a two-day event in Biloxi, Miss., that culminated with a worship service featuring Christian music artists Newsong and Clay Crosse and country music singer Mark Wills and a message by First Baptist Woodstock pastor Johnny Hunt Nov. 21-22.

“Our community lost more than 20,000 jobs after Hurricane Katrina, so I knew that there was a good possibility that 20,000 families would appreciate having a turkey for Thanksgiving,” Kevin Clifford, pastor of Bay Vista Baptist Church in Biloxi, said.

Over the course of a few months, the church was an operations center for the distribution of more than 4 million pounds of food to needy families, and as Thanksgiving approached, the members began to catch a vision for giving away free turkeys to families.

From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 21, Bay Vista and other volunteers handed out about 9,000 turkeys. In the first hour alone, 600 turkeys were distributed, according to The Sun Herald in Biloxi.