Allison Fennell showed up at The Glory House on Saturday for lunch, a bag of food and a prayer.
"Because I need a job and a house," said the 28-year-old about her need for a blessing. "We're staying in a motel. The pastor prayed over us."
The pastor is Rick Hensley, and the The Glory House is the downtown church he and others are founding to help the homeless.
The church held a coming out party Saturday in its parking lot, complete with food, contemporary Christian music by two bands, two bounce houses for the kids and the Lions of Judah, a local Christian motorcycle ministry.
"So many people look at the homeless like they are invisible," Hensley said. "But they are not invisible to God."
Volunteers had served more than 200 meals of hot dogs and Italian sausages with chips and sodas by early afternoon. They handed out about 300 bags of food by the end of the day.
"This is really good," said Waymond Riden, 47, as he munched on potato chips and listened to one of the bands. Riden said he's been living on the streets since he got out of prison several months ago.
Hensley, 54, said he moved to Modesto about a year ago after attending the funeral of a longtime friend here. He said he felt called by God to start a Modesto ministry to help the homeless.
So he said he left his job as pastor at Oasis Community Center in Redding and moved to Modesto. He also has been a pastor at a Tracy church.
The Glory House is renting and refurbishing the building at Seventh and H streets that once housed the Vineyard Christian Fellowship.
The Glory House, at H and Seventh streets in downtown Modesto, holds services at 7 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. on Sundays. Contact the church at 214-5849.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or 578-2316.