Walk by Faith focuses on uniting the community

CONYERS — It’s not just a walk from one destination to another, the Walk by Faith event unites the community with an effort to fill local food pantry shelves.

Citizens are encouraged to bring five or more dry or canned goods to start the 1.1-mile trek from Salem Gate Plaza parking lot in Conyers and end at Springfield Baptist Church.

The 3rd annual walk begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4. The Ray Davis Middle School marching band will lead the crowd to the church.

Rockdale County Commission Chairman Richard Oden teamed up with Rockdale Emergency Relief Executive Director Andy Peabody, Springfield Baptist Church Pastor Eric W. Lee and other community organizations to host this year’s walk.

Oden said he organized the first walk in 2008 with a group of concerned citizens.

“We saw the changes demographically and decided to kick off the new year with a united community,” Oden said.

In previous years, the walk gathered about 200 to 300 people. Oden said he hopes to see more than 500 participants this year.

“I enjoy seeing unity. Both non-faith, nonprofit, civic and community organizations all coming together for one cause,” Oden said. “Individually, they all do their own thing in separate directions. This walk provides the opportunity for everyone to work together toward the same cause in a united way. That’s the joy I receive from this event.”

While Peabody made a previous commitment and cannot attend the event, he said RER staff and volunteers will participate.

“We are going to be receiving hopefully support from the community to not only fill up one van with food donations, but hopefully two,” Peabody said. “This gives us an opportunity to put additional food donation boxes in congregations and community organizations. That’s the great part of participating in this event.”

Peabody said the RER food bank needs items such as: peanut butter, spaghetti and pasta sauce, hearty soups and stews as well as canned meats like chicken and tuna.

The L.C. Palmer Community Service Award will also be given to a Rockdale citizen who demonstrated diligent community service in health and human services, education, youth issues and socio-economic support.

Palmer is a deacon at Rockdale Baptist Church and a former school principal. He’s worked with Oden to organize and grow the Walk by Faith event every year.

If you go

What: Walk by Faith

When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4

Where: Salem Gate Plaza parking lot

Details: Participants are encouraged to bring dry or canned foods