Mission Moments: Family Emergency Services

By: Steve Negley

Posted: November 6, 2020

Category: Daily Devotional

Daily Devotion Focusing on the Missions Supported by First Pres

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

As a young Associate Pastor here at First Pres in the 1980’s I worked alongside our Deacons to care for the less fortunate in our city. I quickly became acquainted with Family Emergency Services and the organization’s director, DeeDee Woodhead. At the time, they were housed in a small room at the city tennis courts, where people would be screened for needed services, and then were assisted in a variety of ways.

When I returned here as Senior Pastor 24 years ago, I was thrilled to see that DeeDee was still caring for our neighbors in need. Family Emergency Services has moved into shared space with the Salvation Army Women’s Shelter, and DeeDee directs a staff that helps with emergency lodging for women and children, assistance with rent/utilities/medicine/transportation/food and more. Often, when there are state or federal funds available to assist individuals in the community, Family Emergency Services processes the requests and distributes the funds. Many churches, First Pres included, financially support FES and then refer the needy who come to our doors to DeeDee and her staff for assistance.

Our Deacons give annual monetary support to FES, and empty the canned food barrel in McLeod Hall each month, delivering the food to FES for distribution. The canned food items collected at our Souper Bowl of Caring Football game are also taken to this ministry partner.

DeeDee Woodhead truly walks humbly with God as she leads this organization doing justice and loving kindness. Our community is blessed by the ministry they share with our church and so many other disciples of our Lord.


God, continue to bless those in our midst who show the love, kindness, and justice of Jesus in their daily work. Bless our community through their deeds, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.