2021-Greenville-Free-Christmas-Dinner-Dec-25-2021
Here is a photo taken at a previous free Christmas Dinner at the Lighthouse Christian Center.

Free Christmas Dinner Slated

Christmas Day, December 25, 2021 from 11am-1pm

GREENVILLE– The 39th annual free Christmas dinner, sponsored by community businesses, is in the making and set for Christmas Day, of course, at the Radiant Lighthouse Church from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The tradition began with Hershel and his wife, the late Barbara Fee, started it while he was pastor of the Lighthouse Christian Center, now known as Radiant Lighthouse, at 5256 Sebring-Warner Road off of U.S. 127-south of Greenville.

“Christmas is the time of year for joy and happiness, but for those who are lonely or less fortunate, it can be a very sad time of year,” was a statement made at the 34th Christmas meal by Barbara, who passed away Nov. 8, 2020. “This is the reason for the past 33 years the Lighthouse Christian Center, along with area business and community volunteers, treated those persons to a free Christmas dinner.”

“This is all I’ve known,” said one of the Fees’ three sons, Eric.

An estimated 500 people, including volunteers and guests, usually take part in the day’s event, according to Eric.

Eric said the menu has changed up a little bit for this year with a variety of dishes, including desserts, going into the makings of a comfort meal.

“Steve Beam has volunteered once again to bring the milk,” added Eric.

During the event, Christmas carols will be offered and entertainment will be provided by Sharon Livington and Dean and Ann White. Jeff Wappelhorst will be serving as Santa’s helper again this year.

There will be quite a number of surprises and treats for all of the children, who can also have their pictures taken with Santa. And, there will be door prizes given away to adults who register.

Hershel, who is co-pastor of the church with Wes Lynch, has been overseeing the event for the past three years with other board members, who include Al and Lynn Bliss and the Fitzwaters.

Shut-ins are even included during the day with the meals being sent to their homes upon request. There are usually more than 100 volunteers at these events, but more will be welcome.

For ordering food for shut-ins, or for anyone wanting to volunteer, or to make reservations, call 937-504-6721.


You can register three ways:

  1. Text the word “DINNER” to 316-512-1919
  2. Go to their website
  3. Call the church at 937-504-6721

Reservations are requested for the dinner so that those preparing the meal will know how much food to make. However, people may come without reservations.

But, for sure, they would like to know how many children and their ages will be attending so they will receive an appropriate age gift.

Has the weather always cooperated at this annual event? “Oh yeah,” Eric responded.

Eric Fee is not only a businessman. He is the reason many local events happen. His family started the free Christmas Dinners at the Lighthouse Christian Center 39 years ago. | Linda Moody Photo
Eric Fee is not only a businessman. He is the reason many local events happen. His family started the free Christmas Dinners at the Lighthouse Christian Center 39 years ago. | Linda Moody Photo
Children attending this year's free Christmas Dinner will be able to have their photos taken with Santa.
Children attending this year's free Christmas Dinner will be able to have their photos taken with Santa.
Here is a photo taken at a previous free Christmas Dinner at the Lighthouse Christian Center.
Here is a photo taken at a previous free Christmas Dinner at the Lighthouse Christian Center.
People attending these free Christmas Dinners enjoy comfort meals prepared and donated by many people in the community.
People attending these free Christmas Dinners enjoy comfort meals prepared and donated by many people in the community.
Tim and Leslie Gunkle are among the many volunteers and donation givers who make this annual event possible.
Tim and Leslie Gunkle are among the many volunteers and donation givers who make this annual event possible.
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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