Serving You Ministries is now open in our new location.  Click on the "Need Help?" tab above for more information. 

Serving You Ministries

Serving You Ministries  is a non-profit organization existing for the purpose of being a ministry arm to area churches and corporations using each person's spiritual gifting to reach a lost and hurting world.


Serving You Ministries  vision is to serve our community in any area of need through a Christ-Centered, Relational, Servant, Accountable, and Sincere  attitude.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  2 Corinthians 1 : 3-4

Serving You Ministries 6523 1st Ave North - Birmingham, Alabama 35206, 205-777-3653


We are now open in our new location serving the Greater Birmingham area

6523 1st Avenue North Birmingham, Alabama 35206

(We are located between Woodlawn and Eastlake)


You can make an appointment by calling 205-777-3653 each Monday or Tuesday between 9am and 11:45am for an appointment the next week. Before making an appointment please completely read this page to make sure you qualify to be seen.  Having an appointment does not guarantee that we will be able to assist you financially. 


To be considered for financial assistance you must meet the following criteria:

1.  Reside in the Greater Birmingham area.

2.  Bring all of the following documents: If you do not have all the documents listed we will not be able to assist you.

  • Valid Driver's License or State Issued ID
  • Proof of income (pay stub, SSI, letter from employer) or proof of job loss
  • Food Stamp Notice of Action Award Letter (if applicable) (see sample below)
  • Section 8 Housing documentation (if applicable)
  • Proof of address (Deed, Lease, Rental documentation)
  • Current utility bill you are requesting assistance for

3.  The following information is considered when trying to make the decision for financial assistance.  Having an appointment does not guarantee financial assistance.

The goal of our ministry is to financially help someone that is not receiving assistance from other agencies or utility assistance from the government.  Having an appointment does not guarantee financial assistance.

  • Financial assistance and/or food assistance is only allowed two times per year (once every 6 months).  
  • We will consider utility assistance from the following companies: Alabama Power, Alagasco, Trussville Utilities, and Birmingham Water Works 
  • Utilities must be on and all deposits, reconnect fees, establishment fees, and previous location service must be paid in full before consideration.
  • No assistance is considered for sewer or appliances
  • We do not pay late fees.
  • The person whose name is on the bill needs to be the one asking for assistance, not a third party.
  • Our goal is to try to keep your utility on and if we cannot do that then we will not be able to assist at this time with a partial payment.


To be eligible for food assistance you only need to have a Valid Driver's License or State Issued ID

Serving You Ministries does not discriminate against race, religion, or economical status.  Our mission is to assist our neighbor during difficult circumstances.


To Make An Appointment

 Call 205.777.3653

Appointments Are Made On

Monday or Tuesday from 9am- 12pm

6523 1st Avenue North
Birmingham, Alabama 35206


Serving You Ministries

Top 10

Food Pantry Needs

1.  Pancake Mix

2. Syrup

3.  Mayonnaise

4.  Hamburger Helper

5.  Jelly

6.  Paper Towels

7.  Ketchup

8.  Toiletries/Feminine Products  

          9.  Toilet Paper     

    10.  Macaroni and Cheese




p l a n t l i f e.png

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort                           that we ourselves receive from God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4


1.   Serving You Ministry Center Volunteer 

     •   Hospitality 

     •   Intake 

     •   Interview 

     •   Chaplain 

     •   Food Pantry 

     •   Cleaning Team 

     •   Lawn Maintenance 

     •   Discipleship 

2.   Metro Changers/BBA - house rehab projects 

3.   Dream Center Volunteer •   First Saturday Serve Days 

     •   Café 

     •   After school programs 

     •   Health & Dental Centers 

4.   Disaster Relief (seasonal) 

5.   Lovelady Center - quarterly worship services 

6.   Changed Live Christian Center - feed the homeless & lead devotion

7.   Love Oliver Initiative: 

     •   Discovery Clubs – after school Bible club 

     •   Pack & distribute weekend backpack snacks 

     •   Teacher appreciation breakfast/lunch 

     •   Classroom assistants/volunteers 

     •   Breakfast/Lunch Clubs - mentoring 

     •   Oak Tree Ministries in Gate City - bible clubs on Sunday afternoons, after-school programs &      tutoring 

     •   Providing food at PTA meetings (quarterly) 

     •   Serving food at parent teacher connection nights in surrounding neighborhoods 


For more information email Raquel at 




Our Volunteers

The work of Serving You Ministries would not be possible without a host of faithful volunteers.  Each week almost 40 volunteers of all ages give their time and share their talents to serve the Lord through serving the community.  Volunteers fulfill a variety of roles at Serving You Ministries including working in the food pantry, serving as chaplain, welcome and intake of information, and interviewing clients.  


John Gibson - Executive Director           

John Gibson has served as Executive Director of Serving You since 2013.  Under his leadership, Serving You has expanded its service area from 8 zip codes of Birmingham to over 40 zip codes of Greater Birmingham.  He has been able to establish partnerships with churches, businesses, and foundations which allow Serving You to provide more relief to families in crisis.  These partnerships have grown from 3 to 32 partners during his 3 years of service. 

John holds a M.S. and Ed.S degree in Leadership from the University of Alabama.  Previously, he was an educator and coach for the Trussville City School System.  He is married to his lovely wife Mary and they have 4 children Kenley, Katie Ann, Molly, and Drew.

Favorite verse:"He must increase, and I must decrease.” John 3:30
"I am passionate about getting people to serve God and believe we are all called to take care of our neighbor as ourself.”


Stephen pic.jpg

Stephen Shelton - Director of Operations in Ministry

Stephen has served as Director of Operations in Ministry of Serving You since January 2014.  Previously, he served in ministry in the local church for over 20 years and also served as a missionary internationally for three years.  He is married to Lora and has three active boys, Harrison, Nathan, and Andrew.  He holds a Doctorate in Christian Education Ministry from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.  
Favorite verse:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

"I am passionate about people hearing the simple Gospel and following our One True God through discipleship and missions."


Raquel Patterson - Administrative Assistant 

Raquel has served as the Administrative Assistant of Serving You since March 2015. She has served with multiple churches and ministries teaching children and doing mission work. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry from Leavell College at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.

Favorit verse: "After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, 'Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'" Revelation 7:9-10

“I am passionate about showing people the greatness of our God and helping them discover the purpose He has for them.”

Gerald Merchant - Volunteer Engineer Superintendent

Gerald has volunteered with Serving You since 2015.  Since his retirement from the family plumbing business, Gerald graciously gives of his time and talaents to serve in a multitude of ways at Serving You.  Gerald seeks to do whatever needs to be done and is quick to say, "I'll do anything that someone else doesn't want to do, if it can help someone out." Gerald has been a plumber since 1974.


Volunteers/Staff - Pray for our team as we use our spiritual gifts to serve Him in ministry.

Gospel Will Be Received -Every person seen in our centers hears the Good News.  Pray for hearts to receive and come to know our One True God.

Discernment - We have many clients that come to SYM for help. Pray for our leaders’ discernment of the need and how best to serve each client.

Clients of SYM - Pray for those with a job loss, family illness, or an unforeseen circumstance in life that has got them behind paying their bills

Community Service Projects - Pray for our our monthly intentional sharing of the Gospel in 7 greater Birmingham areas, block parties, yard crashers, and other monthly projects that reach people with the Good News.

Partnerships - Pray for the continuing building and strengthening of partnerships with churches and other like-minded non-profits to change our Jerusalem.

December 28, 2016

2016 was an incredible year at Serving You. We truly saw God provide in amazing ways through faithful giving and partnerships. As we reflect on this year and look forward to the year to come I wanted to share with you an update on what the Lord did in 2016.

Below is a snapshot of what your giving supported:

2016in review.jpg

Praise God with us for all He has done, above what we could have imagined, this year! 

As you consider your Year-End Giving watch this short video to hear a testimony from our friends, the Wrights.

To make a Year-End Contribution you can give online at mail checks postmarked by December 31st to Serving You Ministries at 6523 1st Ave N. Birmingham, AL 35206. 

One goal we have at SYM for 2017 is to make our client choice food pantry even better, with fresh produce and more frozen food options. Will you join us in praying for provision of this walk-in freezer? 


Looking forward to another incredible year Serving Him by Serving You,
John Gibson
Executive Director


December 1, 2016

Psalms 103:2 “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.”  As we transition out of this time of Thanksgiving, let us not forget all the blessings and benefits of being in a relationship with the Lord Jesus.  May we praise the Lord for all he has done for us through his Son Jesus Christ.

I wanted to thank you for your support of the work here at Serving You. We operate out of faith through faithful givers like you. Please know that we are seeing the Lord do some greats things here and we want you to be a continued part of it. Here are a few highlights:

  • 9 salvations including 6 during our recent Sports Reach trip to the correctional facilities in Florida
  • 5 graduates of WorkFaith Bham ready to obtain employment soon. The average graduate makes $20k during their first year of employment.
  • 2 Financial Peace graduates
  • 11 men traveled and played softball in 3 different prisons in Florida. It is amazing to see the difference a few games of softball can make to a group of men. Matt 25:36 "I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
  • Dinner served to 75 at Oliver Elementary for Community Network Night
  • Served with our partners at Oak Tree Ministries to collect toys & volunteer with their Christmas Shop for the Bible Club Children of Marks Village. 
  • Food assistance: 131 families with 387 individuals
  • Financial assistance: $9,531.56

Our Christmas decorations exchange shop is now open! This was a big hit last year for families to grab a few items to decorate their homes for the holidays. If you have decorations that you would like to donate you can drop them off at SYM Mon-Thurs 8-4 or at NorthPark on the cart in the cafe lobby. 

Don’t forget if you donate to your local Jimmie Hale Mission Possible Thrift Store and mention Serving You, we receive gift cards to give to clients in need.

Merry Christmas!
John Gibson

November 1, 2016

Good Morning,

We are excited to share an exciting new story from the month of October. As you know we see many people each month (220 people this past month to be exact), many of the people we see need immediate financial assistance due to a job loss, or having a single income to support a family, or by being placed on maternity leave, or due to other circumstances that lead to a crisis moment in their life.  However, some people we see need to get back into the workplace and their financial crisis will not change until their income changes.  So we offer a back loaded incentive based program for those that fall in that category.  With our partnership with WorkFaith (reminder they are located in the same building as us), each person can attend a 9-day work development class (7 hours per day) and receive the instructions and knowledge to empower them to land a job. The incentives for any person willing to choose that program offering is as follows:

  1. Receive a two-week supply of food after completion of the first 5 days of class
  2. Upon graduation of class, we will financial assist them up to $150 on a utility bill
  3. Upon employment, we will financial assist the family again until their first paycheck arrives

We are happy to announce that 5 people successfully fulfilled the incentive program through WorkFaith and Serving You this month.  It was a great reminder that God blesses when ministries and churches work together for His sovereign plan.

Other highlights:

  • 5 people prayed to receive Christ
  • 336 people prayed for
  • 80 meals served at Changed Lives Christian Center
  • 300 backpack snacks provided (equivalent to 2100 meals for children over the course of a weekend)
  • Dinner served at the Oliver Elementary PTA program for over 100 parents and children
  • Financial  Assistance Total: $11,350.68
  • Food Families: 176 families shopped for groceries in our client choice food pantry (479 individuals)

Thanks for your generous support of Serving You Ministries.

In Christ,

John Gibson
Executive Director

October 3, 2016

We had an incredible month at SYM.  There were so many moments that pointed to our obedience of following God’s plan to be at this exact location for His divine plan to be fulfilled. I wanted to share an encouraging card we received from Kaitlin:

“I came into your office on Tuesday, September 20th. This was a new experience for me as I have never needed or had to have any help supporting my family or even myself. As I mentioned, me and my family are in an unusual financial bind and I didn’t know where else to turn. God led me to ya’ll and for that, I am so thankful. I cannot thank you enough for the financial assistance you provided me with. Not only that, but I want to thank you for being the happy faces I needed to see, the encouraging words I needed to hear, and the sincere vibe that you truly care about others. Dennis, thank you for being kind and for making me feel welcome. John, thank you for your encouraging words, they mean the world to me. Thank you also for the Bible. I already have begun reading it and I look forward to strengthening my relationship with God through His word. While I earnestly pray that I never need assistance of this sort again, please know that y'all made a difference in me and that I will be praying for you all and the organization. Thank you, thank you, thank you. With love, Kaitlin”

Thank you for taking the time to read this and know that we see many people like Kaitlin each day.  Without your support and partnership, moments like these would not be possible.  But with God, all things are possible!

September Numbers:
Over 200 people prayed and shared the gospel with
2 people made decisions to follow Christ
4 people we helped in finding a church home
3 people joined a Bible study
159 families with 436 individuals received food
$10,172.59 of financial assistance given
2 WorkFaith Graduates
240 Weekend Backpack snacks distributed

In Christ,
John Gibson



September 7, 2016

Serving You officially opened yesterday at our new location (6523 First Avenue North, Birmingham 35206) and we were able to serve 24 clients. We have several new approaches to ministering to our clients here. First, we are excited about transitioning to a client choice food pantry in which clients get to shop for the food they need while our volunteer hosts each client and is able to build a better relationship with them. The main reason for this transition is so we can individually pray for each food only client. Secondly, we have a new hospitality volunteer position to welcome clients and offer them coffee, drinks, and a light snack. We hope this builds an inviting atmosphere and will ease any uncomfortableness or embarrassment that comes with asking for help.  

Finally, we have tweaked our backpack snack program. In the past, we packed bags and delivered them to several local elementary schools for children showing signs of malnutrition.  This year we started a high school led food pantry. We have set up the backpack program at the local high school that serves the children that will one day walk the halls of the high school. The students stock, pack, and deliver the backpacks for the local elementary children. However, the neat part is that there are high school students that need food for the weekend and they are allowed to grab some items (discretely) for themselves. This new approach addresses food needs for high school students AND teaches high school students how to meet needs of their community. Just this past weekend the students hosted a food drive at a local grocery store to help stock the food pantry! 

Also, there are several classes starting this month:

1.  Financial Peace classes start Sunday September 25 from 3:30-5pm.
2.  Discipleship classes will be taught every Thursday at noon.
3.  WorkFaith Birmingham classes start Friday September 16.  This is a nine-day job training workshop for those seeking employment.
4.  Small groups are Monday for youth from 5pm-7pm and Adult small groups are Thursday from 5pm-7pm.

If you have anyone interested in serving please have them email Raquel Patterson at for the opportunities.

Reminder: we are having an Open House Sunday September 18 from 1:30-3pm.  Please come by and see what is happening.

August numbers below (we were closed the last two weeks for the move).

financial assistance:  $6,287.38
food families: 35
food individuals: 89

Serving Him by Serving You,
John Gibson



August 10, 2016

Back to school is always a neat time of year. New beginnings, new friendships, new teachers… and this year, Serving You has begun a new chapter in its ministry.  We are getting out of our comfort zone and implementing new ideas as we continue to be obedient to the command of loving our neighbor as ourselves. We are excited as this new journey begins; hopeful that we will be a part of a process that reconciles people back into a new relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, relieves people going through a crisis with food and utility assistance, develops people to new careers and workplace habits through our partnership with WorkFaith Birmingham, and that builds relationships with families in Birmingham through Discovery Clubs, Oak Tree Ministries, mentoring breakfast clubs, the Love Oliver initiative, and the Dream Center kids program.

Save the date! September 18th, 1:30-3:00pm, will be our open house at our new ministry location.  

We are grateful to have had an awesome team of students from Youth Serve Urban Service Camp work hard painting & cleaning at our new building last month.

We had a great day kicking off the Love Oliver Initiative: helping kids pick out their school supplies, praying with families, & having a fun back to school party! It was an incredible day of partners coming together to serve the community as one! Thank you for being a part!

Numbers for July

  • Financial Assistance:  $8,725.39
  • Two Week supply of Food: 90 families
  • 80 meals provided at Changed Lives Christian Center
  • Food provided at Big Oak Ranch Date Night, this allows house parents at Big Oak to go on a date while a group keeps the children.
  • Participated in a huge Love Oliver day, fed over 500 children, parents, and volunteers at Oliver Elementary School

Thank you,

John Gibson
Executive Director

July 11, 2016

The new location is looking great and we are still hopeful to move next month.  We are very excited about having a location that better serves our neighbor and focuses in on our four main initiatives of reconciliation, relief, development and relationships.  Be on the look out for an open house sometime in September.  With this new site, we will be able to partner with several like-minded non-profits to better serve Greater Birmingham while also being good stewards of our resources.  

July 30th is Love Oliver day.  We will be setting up a resource store at Oliver Elementary allowing students to shop at the store for school uniforms, supplies, etc.  The students earn vouchers in order to shop by meeting attendance goals, AR (accelerated reading) goals, behavior goals, etc.  This new voucher system provides reward for excelling in school and prevents the enabling of children by giving something without working toward it.  We would love for you to join us from 10am-1pm that day.  If you would like to volunteer simply reply to this email!

June totals:

  • Financial Assistance:  $8,306.79

  • Two Week supply of Food: 106 families (301 individuals)

  • 80 meals provided at Changed Lives Christian Center

  • Food provided at Big Oak Ranch Date Night, this allows house parents at Big Oak to go on a date while a group keeps the children.

  • Provided a classroom set of 20 tablets for teachers to use at Oliver Elementary next year

Thank you again for your continual support of Serving You Ministries!

In Christ,
John Gibson
Executive Director


June 9, 2016

Thanks to all that made our Serving You Dinner and Auction a great success.  We raised over $13,000!  

There were many other highlights during the month of May:

  1. There were 13 graduates of our Financial Peace University, a nine week biblical financial literacy course.
  2. Our SportsReach softball team traveled to Donaldson Correctional and enjoyed playing games and sharing God’s Word with the men there.
  3. Our backpack program ended with the school year and we distributed over 2,700 weekend food packs for children.
  4. We led a worship service at Lovelady and one lady prayed to receive Christ as her savior.
  5. We were able to feed the men at Changed Lives twice this month (80 meals).
  6. We helped with $5,569.29 in utility assistance.
  7. We gave 253 inviduals a two week supply of food (Equivalent to 10,626 meals!).

Thanks for all you do for Serving You.  Please be in prayer as were are beginning to renovate our new permanent location at 6525 First Avenue North.  We will be partnering with WorkFaith Birmingham (9 day work development program), Hope Inspired (4 month mentoring and job coaching), and the Dream Center to create a ministry site to better serve the least of these through four main Initiatives - Reconciliation, Relief, Work Development, and Relationships.  If you would like to help in the renovation please let us know.

In Christ,

John Gibson
Executive Director, Serving You Ministries

May Numbers:
Pledges $5,569.29
Food families 89
Food individuals 253



May 1, 2016

Greetings from the Serving You Ministry Team. 

We recently had a lady come to SYM for financial and food assistance without a reliable income and no game plan. We realized she needed something besides another quick fix on a utility bill.  We gave her food and sent her to one of our Kingdom building partners, WorkFaith Birmingham, for their 9 day work development program.  She graduated last Thursday and now feels empowered to find work and get her life on the right track to become financially secure.  She came back to us yesterday and we were able to then financially help her by getting her power back on at her apartment (yes her family was living without working lights).  

Our SportsReach Alabama team visited and played 3 softball games at Donaldson Correctional in Bessemer on Saturday.  We had a great time playing ball and sharing God’s Word with the guys there.

Finally, our only fundraiser of the year is only 2 weeks away! Join us May 13 at 6:30pm at First Baptist Trussville for our dinner and silent auction. Click the link below to register. Tickets are only $25, or you can sponsor a table for $200.

Numbers for April:

  • Financial assistance:  $8,364.73
  • Food assistance: 114 families, 315 individuals
  • 300 backpack snacks packed and distributed
  • 1 WorkFaith Birmingham graduate
  • 80 meals cooked and served at the Changed Lives Christian Center 
  • 11 SYM people currently attending our two Financial Peace University classes 
  • Every person prayed for and shared God’s love with
  • 150 meals served for Oliver Elementary PTA

We are thankful for the opportunity to daily serve Him by serving with you!



April 7, 2016

This past month we had 3 different block parties going on simultaneously around Birmingham.  The purpose of these events is to pray for the community with the intention to share the gospel when the opportunity arises.  A group of about 125 volunteers made this day possible.  Also, our good friends from Oak Tree Ministries welcomed us to their Bible studies allowing some of our younger SYM volunteers to learn how to teach Bible clubs for an upcoming out of state mission trip. 

I wanted to share a unique opportunity coming for the 2016-2017 school year.  Alongside some great partnering churches, we are launching our Love Oliver Initiative on July 30 at Oliver Elementary.  Below is a link where you can read about the purpose of the Love Oliver Initiative. I hope you will read it and give feedback as we think this could be reproduced at various Birmingham elementary schools.

Numbers for March:

  • Financial assistance:  $6,943.19
  • Food assistance: 61 families/148 individuals ($12,200 equivalent value of food given)
  • 300 backpack snacks packed and distributed
  • 3 block parties (around 500 in total attendance)
  • 80 meals cooked and served to the transient homeless population 
  • 11 SYM people currently attending our two Financial Peace University classes 
  • Every person prayed for and shared God’s love with

Thank you for your support.  Our Silent Auction and Dinner is on May 13 at 6:30 at First Baptist Church Trussville.  Contact Raquel Patterson,, if you want to order a ticket.

In Christ,
John Gibson



March 7, 2016

On February 25th, SYM participated in the Oliver Elementary PTA dinner which was followed by a Black History Month program by the children.  SYM provided dinner for over 160 children, parents, and teachers on that special night. A partnering church’s high school seniors small group served the food and it was a great time ministering together.  We are really excited about being a part of a new initiative next year at Oliver called Love Oliver.  Be on the lookout for more information on this soon.

We ask for your continued support and prayers as God is moving among like-minded churches, non-profits, foundations, and individuals.  The Holy Spirit is stirring in the hearts of many to join together, so that in unity we can offer reconciliation, relief, development, and build relationships with our many neighbors of Greater Birmingham that are in need.

Finally, mark your calendars for May 13.  We are having our annual Dinner and Silent Auction at 6:30 at First Baptist Church Trussville.  We would love for you to join us on that night!

February Numbers:

80 meals provided for the men at the CLCC
300 backpack snacks provided for children in need
160 meals served at Oliver Elementary PTA
80 families (237 individuals) provided with a two-week supply of food
$7,734.07 given in utility assistance

Thank you for your continued support & prayers!

Serving Him by Serving You,
John Gibson



February 1, 2016

Serving You is excited about 2016.  Thank you for your continued support.  

We are implementing a new initiative this year to provide a hand up not a hand out to the chronically unemployed.  Working alongside WorkFaith Birmingham, who offers a nine-day workshop that is designed to fully equip and empower all participants to become successful in the workplace, we have developed an incentive based program.  This is how it works ; If someone comes to Serving You with no viable income or proof of job loss then we refer them to WorkFaith.  After the individual successful attends and graduates from their 9 day (8 hours a day) then we will assist them financially until their first paycheck arrives.

The first week in January we referred 4 people to this incentive based program, hoping 1 person would attend.  I am excited to share that 3 people attended the first day of class and 2 of the 3 people graduated the program.  This might sound like a small accomplishment but it can have huge implications on their family.  

Exciting things are in store for 2016 and thanks for being part of it.

Other numbers:

    $9,549.51 financial assistance

    78 familes (234 individuals) received a two week supply of food

    80 meals served at Changed Lives Christian Center

    300 weekend backpacks served

    135 families prayed for and shared the gospel with

In Christ,

John Gibson