A pair of North Carolina churches each gave out 500 gas cards Saturday to help community members facing sky-high gas prices this Easter.
“Deeper Life Ministries in Goldsboro passed out 500 free gas cards on Saturday morning at three different gas stations, and Baptist Grove Church in Raleigh handed out $25 gas cards to 500 people until noon,” WRAL reported.
— WRAL NEWS in NC (@WRAL) April 16, 2022
Pastor Bankole Akinbinu of Baptist Grove Church told the outlet that 500 was the target number on Easter weekend because of Bible verse: 1 Corinthians 15:6.
According to Bible Gateway, the verse and surrounding verses read:
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas [Peter],[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. [Empahsis added]
Akinbinu explained to WRAL the motivation behind giving gas cards to community members was to alleviate families’ financial stress:
This is about parents being able to drop their children off to school so they can get an education and not fall behind. This is about men and women being able to get to work so they can continue to provide for their households. This is about relieving our seniors from having to make decisions between grocery money and gas money to get their prescriptions.
On Easter Sunday, gas prices in North Carolina averaged $3.82 per gallon — a nearly $1.20 jump from last year’s cost on April 17, which averaged $2.63 per gallon, the American Automobile Association (AAA) reported.
Deeper Life Church Ministries Pastor Pat Ford told WRAL the church has been providing citizens with free gas cards for about a year.
“The increase in gas prices is also a motivation for the church to reach outside the church walls for a more wholistic [sic] ministry to persons,” the pastor said. “Meeting them where they are at the point of their needs.”