Local churches put together holiday festival, provide free meals

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Calvary Chapel of Panama City Beach teamed up with Mercy Chefs to provide a free Thanksgiving meal at Frank Nelson Park in Panama City Saturday.

Anthony Noble, the Pastor of Cavalry Chapel Panama City Beach said, "Jesus said, 'What good is it if we gain the whole world and we lose our soul?' so our desire is to really put on this type of event, feed people."

Joshua Smith with Mercy Chefs added, "Everybody deserves to have a holiday. To have this season where you come together with family, you come together with friends and just because you've been through a tragedy, you shouldn't have to miss out on that."

The event also served as a way to kick off the holiday season and featured raffle prizes, balloon animals, and games for the kids to play, but organizers said there's a larger meaning to the celebration.

Noble added, "It was our desire to bring God's love, desire, and his grace to our community. So that's what we did before the hurricane, that's what we're doing now after the hurricane and we're going to continue to do that, Lord willing, on into the future."

There were three other locations also offering meals in Bay County at Daffin Park, Emerald Coast Fellowship, and High Praise Worship Center.