On Saturday, cars lined up at three gas stations in Maryland and Virginia, to each receive $50 worth of free gas provided by a Virginia-based church group.
The Alfred Street Baptist Church, located in Alexandria, Virginia, gave away gas to 300 cars at three different locations — Royal Farms on Forestville Road in District Heights, Exxon on Little River Turnpike in Alexandria, and Royal Farms on Allentown Road in Camp Springs — on Saturday.
It was part of the church’s Hidden Halos Initiative, which was created to provide acts of kindness to strangers.
“I’m on a fixed income, so I’m one of the ones in the community that absolutely needs help,” said Brenda Smith, who was in the area visiting for the Easter holiday. “So when you find a church that ministers to your need, you know, that’s the church to join.”
Curlisa Thomas said she’s fortunate to only work three days out of the week and doesn’t have to fill up her gas tank as frequently. Still, she acknowledged that others are really in need.
“This is something that is desperately needed,” Thomas said.
Pastor Howard-John Wesley of Alfred Street Baptist Church, who helped with pumping the gas at the Royal Farms in District Heights, said the giveaway and the Hidden Halo Initiative is all about giving to those in need.
“We believe that, every now and then, we ought to make certain that we’re treating people as if they’re Christ among us, and love them the same way we say we love Jesus,” He said.
Wesley said the locations were chosen to bring the church’s work to the community and those in need.
“Where people from the local neighborhood come and get gas and they’re looking to fill up their tanks to make it through the week,” Wesley said. “Maybe a few of them will show up at our Easter service tomorrow and help us celebrate Christ,” he said.
Wesley said he hopes people gain “a different impression of church and a desire to do the same for someone else,” from the gas giveaway.
“If I can inspire you to want to bless someone else, then I think we’ve done our job,” Wesley said.