Located in an industrial patch of Forestville, Md., warehouses, it would be easy to miss the congregation located at 8058 Cryden Way, if it were not for the banner over the door that reads “Goshen Worship Center Church: Welcome to the land of Goshen.”
Inside the cavernous building, a painting of the Lord’s Supper is on the wall, pulpit furniture is placed in front of rows of chairs and in the foyer, a group of ladies are busy doling out frozen turkeys, canned goods and other items to people in need.
“We just thank God for the ability to help somebody because if you help somebody than you will be helped,” said Elder Simeon Corum, founder and pastor of the Goshen Worship Center. “The Bible says ‘When I was hungry you fed me,’ and we feel that this is one of our missions to do just that.”
While many churches across the Washington area donate food and canned goods to those less fortunate during Thanksgiving and Christmas, members are Goshen are unique because they are giving even though many church members have physical and financial needs themselves.
“I have been though a lot,” said Bertha Flute, an out-of-work school bus aide, who volunteered to pass out food. “Coming up as a child there were days when we went to bed hungry. My mother was on welfare because my daddy left us so I know what it is like when somebody is hungry.”
Even though she is recovering from a stroke, Ashell Hill, 48, took a Metro Access bus to volunteer. “I wanted to come out to help my neighbor because I also know what it means to be hungry” Hill said. “I have been homeless before, but God has been good to me so I give back.”
Patricia Butler said despite their small size “the little churches are trying their best to help people in need.” Brittany Cubbage, 22, and student at Prince George’s Community College, noted “my sociology teacher said that some of the poorest people are the most giving.”
For many years, Corum used his booming base voice to preach and host radio broadcasts with Bishop C.L. Long at the District’s Scriptural Cathedral. Even though he was a leader in the church, seven years ago Corum branched out and started his own ministry in Forestville.
Goshen only has 50 members, but the church was able to donate turkeys with all of the trimmings to 30 needy area families. The church’s co-pastor, Joanne Corum, said that in addition to this event, the church also regularly feeds the homeless in the county and plans another food giveaway in three months.
“My philosophy is that you are not living unless you are giving. God has given His only begotten son and he expects us to give to those less fortunate,” Corum said. “I am honored to give because it could have been the other way.”