The Bread Connection

Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church Pastor Cornelius Baldwin Jr., left, presents a $1,200 donation check to The Bread Connection board member Greg Harmon. A faith-based 501(C)(3), The Bread Connection works to provide food to those in need in the Johnson County area. From left are Baldwin, Harmon, Jimmy Pickett, Jean Pickett, Annie Thompson, Anetra Baldwin, Keyshawn Baldwin, Keoshia Baldwin and Keonna Baldwin.

Randy Hightower, founder of The Bread Connection, praised the members of Cleburne’s Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church for their continued support of his organization and, more importantly, God’s mission.

“I just want to thank [Greater Mt. Zion Church clerk Jean Pickett] and the rest of the church members for their support of The Bread Connection in so many ways,” Hightower said. “We greatly appreciate the time and effort they put into this work, and into [God’s] work. They are an asset to the community and to the Kingdom of God.”

Several church members, including Pastor Cornelius Baldwin Jr., were on hand Tuesday to present a $1,200 donation check to Bread Connection board member Greg Harmon.

“The money from this donation will go toward the purchase of food and expenses to deliver it to people in need throughout Johnson County,” Harmon said. “Greater Mt. Zion Baptist Church have been a blessing to us through their support and we very much appreciate them.”

Funding for the donation derived from the church’s recent Soul Food Sunday Dinner event, Pickett said.

“With that money we choose to support local organizations who benefit the community and work to make a difference,” Pickett said. “The Bread Connection blesses our community with food for those in need. They’re making a big difference in the Cleburne area community and their services are certainly needed more than ever right now.”

Pickett also serves as executive director of the East Cleburne Community Center.

“The Bread Connection received our award for outstanding humanitarian service at our annual awards banquet earlier this year,” Pickett said. “They’ve done a lot to help us. When we’ve done our free lunches for the community they’ve participated by donating food and flowers.”

The Bread Connection, a ministry of First Christian Church, began several years ago inspired by the simple desire of Hightower and his wife, Becky Hightower, to help community members in need. 

“It was just a grass roots deal really,” Randy Hightower said of the Bread Connection’s beginning. “We started small but then people started to hear about us and started calling. It’s a God thing so we just keep working at it basically seven days a week now.”

The faith-based charity, a 501(C)(3), distributes bread, pastries, produce, meats and canned goods throughout and beyond Johnson County.

“I think of The Bread Connection as a hub,” Randy Hightower said. “We’re at the cent of the hub and the communities we serve are like the spokes. And the outer parts of the wheel are our partners and volunteers.

Randy and Becky Hightower cite Matthew 25:35, “I was hungry and you fed me,” and John 6:35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again,” as the unofficial mottoes/mission statements behind The Bread Connection.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has substantially increased demand for The Bread Connection’s services, Randy Hightower said.

“We’ve been helping out with a lot more church and other events this year,” Hightower said. “We’ve been working to help with food distribution events at [Bethel Temple Assembly of God], other distribution events for seniors, events in Keene. We just learned about a new event in Joshua so we’re looking to see what that’s about. We try to do all we can to contribute. We always do.”

To learn more about The Bread Connection, donate or volunteer, call 817-487-6898.

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