SAN ANTONIO — Update: St. James AME Church got the Thanksgiving miracle it was hoping for.
On Monday, a Church's Chicken on the east side went up in flames, leaving the restaurant a total loss. That location was part of the Thanksgiving for the homeless dinner happening at St. James AME Church. It was going to donate enough mashed potatoes to feed a few hundred people.
The church was scrambling to find another donor to step up.
After this story aired on KENS 5 on Monday, a marketing representative with Church's Chicken reached out to the station to get in touch with Smith. In a statement, they said:
"Church's Chicken is part of the Saint James AME Church Thanksgiving celebration and will continue to be a part of their dinner tradition. Our location on South WW White Road will provide the mashed potatoes for the event. We believe in coming together with good people and good food and are proud to help serve our community during Thanksgiving."
The Thanksgiving dinner at St. James AME Church will be on Thursday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m in the lower level auditorium of the church.
Original story below:
Water poured though an east-side street as firefighters hosed down one of the original Church's Chicken restaurants.
The fire crawled through the roof, sending a cloud of smoke into the early morning sky. SAFD officials said the restaurant is a total loss and the cause of the fire is unknown.
The fire is also causing a problem for another church about 10 minutes down the road.
Alvin Smith is the lead pastor at St. James AME Church. He said their Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless is next week.
"When you look at the premise of our faith and what we believe, it's really about helping others," Smith said.
Church member Susan Henry has been planning the special meal all year. Last year, 230 people showed up.
"So many smiling faces, so many people who were grateful. It was overwhelming, it really was," Henry said. "It gave me a great feeling and I'm looking forward to this year."
Henry expects more than 500 people to show up this year. She said the Church's Chicken that caught fire planned to donate enough mashed potatoes to feed them all.
The tables are out and the chairs are stacked up. Without a last minute miracle, part of the plates may stay empty. But, don't ask people of faith to weigh the odds. They have a feeling the right person will pull through.
"Well, to worry is a sin and I have enough sins on me," Henry said. "I know everything's going to happen the way it's supposed to."
"When you bless others, you can't help but be blessed in return," Smith said.
Smith said they also feed first responders and anyone else who may need a hot meal on Thanksgiving.
Smith said all donations are welcome. If you'd like to help, you can give him a call at 210-330-3818. You can also reach Henry at 210-831-0477.
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