A church in Louisiana is one of the latest to hold a free gas giveaway event to give back to the community amidst skyrocketing prices.
Average gas prices across America are not $5 per gallon and many Americans are tightening their belts further to keep up. But one church in Louisiana is helping ease the pain of economic turmoil and rising gas prices by holding a free gas giveaway. On Sunday, the Lone Wa Worship Center in Monroe, Louisiana, which is led by Pastor J. Garland Smith, offered communion, prayers, and $25 worth of free gas for the first 200 drivers who arrived at the church's parking lot.
CBN News reported that news of the free gas giveaway at the Louisiana church spread fast, as by 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, about 25 cars were already at the church. Within just one hour, all the gas cards had been claimed, but it did not stop the church members' generosity. In fact, some church members took it upon themselves to bless the remaining 10 or 15 cars with free gas at the gas station, Pastor Charles D. Jones, who also served at Lone Wa Worship Center reported.
Free Gas Recipients Barely Had Any Left in Their Tank
Pastor Jones shared that several people who were blessed during the Louisiana church's free gas giveaway "just had enough gas to get to the church." He added that many of them even told congregants that they would not have been able to afford gas for their cars if not for the church's kind gesture.
Pastor Smith remarked, "We've had a wonderful time today, as we endeavor to share the love of Christ and meet basic needs."
The Louisiana church isn't the only one to host a free gas giveaway in the last week, as a church in Michigan held a similar effort recently, Click on Detroit reported. Bethel Baptist Church East in Detroit gave away $20 worth of gas per driver who lined up at the free gas giveaway on Saturday, where the church provided water, fruit, and juice as well. The Detroit church, which was led by Pastor Steven Herrod, provided over $2,000 worth of gas to community members.
"In light of the rising gas prices, inflation and all this going on in the country. I felt it was the responsibility of the church to always be visible and always respond," Pastor Herrod remarked.
Rising gas prices are impacting more than just regular citizens, as it also impacts the church. In May, Pastor Chris Simmons of Cornerstone Baptist Church, which serves a low income community in Dallas, Texas, observed that rising gas prices have forced some church members to forego in-person worship services and instead attend virtually to save on gas and transportation costs, the Christian Post reported. Pastor Simmons added that "giving is down" because churchgoers are now forced to choose between giving or getting gas to go to church.
In Omaha, Nebraska, Salem Baptist Church hosted a free gas giveaway in the church's parking lot on June 25 at 9 a.m. The church's senior pastor Rev. Selwyn Q. Bachus acknowledged the "rising inflation" and how gas prices have put a "day-to-day strain on resources for many families" in the community. He remarked, "We want to express God's love and support during these challenging times by providing a gas card giveaway to offer some relief."
Earlier this month, Life Changers Christian Church in West Allis, Wisconsin gave away $900 worth of gas by dividing the budget into $15 per motorist. The budget had run out in less than an hour due to the massive demand.
Gas Prices Expected to Fall, Experts Say
American gas consumers may see a light at the end of the tunnel in the coming weeks, as gas prices saw a decline for a second consecutive week. According to CBS News, the national average on Tuesday went down to $4.88 for a gallon of regular, a decrease of almost nine cents from last week. Analysts believe that gas prices may head for a third weekly drop, but any sudden changes to supply can quickly push the needle back up, especially when the peak of hurricane season arrives.
To address skyrocketing gas prices, President Joe Biden last week urged Congress to "suspend the federal gas tax for the next 90 days," in the hopes of giving families "just a little bit of relief." The Democratic leader also warned oil companies that "there's no time now for profiteering." He also cited states such as Connecticut and New York that have already temporarily suspended gas taxes and urged other states to do the same while the U.S. government continues to work on a longer term solution to rising gas prices. Finally, President Biden called upon the American oil industry, which has been producing "12 million barrels of oil per day" just this month, to increase production. He underscored that today's production is "higher than average" under the Trump administration and that the U.S. is now on track to set a new record for production in 2023.