How weekend cookouts are bringing together St. Louis communities

ST. LOUIS — The ‘Grill to Glory’ program returns this year, hoping again to bring churches and neighborhood residents together.

According to James Clark, with the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, more than 300 churches will be participating. Churches register for the program and get a grill to have a Saturday cookout.

On Thursday, the program held a kickoff rally event, handing out the grills and having a kickoff cookout. “This is a game changer,” Clark explained. “Food is love,” he said.

The Saturday cookouts are meant to help rebuild church communities. The Urban League reports that more than 90% of churches that have participated said they saw an increase in Sunday service attendance.

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“We see ‘Grill to Glory’ as that change agent,” Clark said. “That pivotal model that can reintroduce the neighborhood church to neighborhood families when there is so much need out here.”

The program first started at Leonard Baptist Church in North City. Saturday’s cookouts at participating churches will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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