Photo by Jeylin White
DFMI members David Wilborn and his wife Christie enjoy a meal with Bishop Donald E. Battle and fellow members at the Chick-fil-A in Lovejoy, to support “Meet Your Leader” night.
LOVEJOY — Divine Faith Ministries International Bishop Donald E. Battle greeted guests of the community and church members at Chick-fil-A’s “Meet Your Leader” night event on a dreary Monday.
“It’s just like having dinner with the bishop for people who might not otherwise be able to connect with him,” said Kim McNair, public relations spokesperson for DFMI.
McNair was responsible for making sure the event got off without a hitch and said it was the collaboration with Tracy Flemming, owner and operator for the Lovejoy Chick-fil-A’s location.
“I worked with [Flemming] on several other projects and though this would be a great opportunity for a community project,” McNair said.
Flemming said Chick-fil-A is always looking for ways to be involved with the community and savvy ways to give back. He said they came up with “Meet Your Leader” Night hosted every Monday, to encourage local dignitaries to come and mingle with residents.
“As a company, we want to know the people in our community and look for ways that we can help,” Flemming said. “The people look to us to be there for them in the community.”
Flemming said a portion of the proceeds, from the food purchased by members during the event, will be given back to the church in food donations.
“This is great if they have and event they will be doing they can use the food to feed residents,” McNair said.
In addition, Flemming said the gave more than 100 free coupons for cookies to members who came out to the two-hour event Monday night.
Battle said he is looking to use the proceeds from the event for his recently launched, “Sons of Issachar” mentoring program.
The program he said is geared toward young African-American males in an effort to teach them lifestyles and leadership skills as they transition into adulthood.
Flemming said he prides himself on being a pillar of the community, and that he shares the same principles and values as Chick-fil-A founder Truett Cathy.
“It’s a benefit to interact with the community,” he said. “The Back-to-School bash is a good example of that.”
Flemming, who has been with the company for 12 years, said personally he’s always finding ways to connect with people and leaders.
He said the Lovejoy restaurant hosts a breakfast giveaway on Tuesdays, inspiration Wednesdays — where they put messages in customers to-go-orders — and Facebook Fridays, from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m., during which they give away free chicken sandwiches.
“We are a for-profit business; however, we’re not looking for ways to make money, but we are always looking for ways to serve the community,” Flemming said.
He added Lovejoy Chief of Police Mark Harris will be a guest at the next Monday’s “Meet Your Leader” night.
McNair said her hope is that they will be able to continue the relationship with the restaurant.
Battle expressed the same sentiment.
“It was good to see all the members who came out,” Battle said. “I get so busy it’s hard to meet all the members at the church. It was like having dinner with family and friends.”