When many hear the name Ron Paul, the former Texas Congressman and presidential candidate may come to mind. However, in the Midlands, a man by the same name is the first thought for people because of his heart to serve Columbia’s homeless.
One Saturday each month in the parking lot of First Baptist Church in Columbia, you need not look far to spot Ron Paull, spelled with two L’s.
This particular Saturday, he’s wearing a bright colored t-shirt and a big button from the former presidential candidate’s campaign.
“Ron Paul and I share the same name, except mine has two L’s, and he has one,” said Paull.
But people who see him regularly say they don’t need either to point him out in a crowd.
“He’s very, very nice, he’s always kind,” said Tyler Paull, Ron’s grandson.
“Ron is not only a great friend, but is a visionary,” added Jim Parks, who helps serve with Paull.
“He’s an awesome guy to have this in the community, not only for the homeless, it’s for everybody,” said Danita Rhinehart who attends the monthly event hosted by Paull.
Ten years ago, Paull said a fellow friend and his participation in an annual Thanksgiving meal for the homeless at the Carolina Coliseum were his inspiration for what’s called Feed The Hungry.
“What we try and do is just show the love of Christ for about, it’s only three hours a month, but it’s three hours the guys can come and not have to worry about the things of life,” said Paull.
Nearly 240 meals are served in the parking lot of the church at each event. The meals include charcoal burgers on the grill and lots of sides and desserts. But the guests will tell you they are served more than food.
“It gives everybody the opportunity to mingle together, to relate to each one another, get Bible lessons, get spiritual feeding and just eat and have fun,” said Rhinehart.
Part of the fun at the most recent Saturday event was surprising Paull with the news that because of his efforts over the last 10 years, he’s our latest Community Builder in partnership with Mungo Homes.
Ron points back to his faithful volunteers that make it possible, but they quickly point back to their fearless leader.
“As you get up in the morning, you say, 'How can I reflect Jesus in my life?' This is a tangible, real way that Ron Paull has led us at First Baptist Church,” said Parks. “It’s only a couple hours a month, and it’s very invigorating. It’s a wonderful feeling.”
As a Community Builder, Paull receives a $1,000 donation from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, and he says it will go right back into the monthly ministry.
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