About Town

Methodist Family Health – Share the Light


Fellow Arkansans – neighbors, colleagues and friends – are sharing a light of peace, kindness and generosity that makes The Natural State a little brighter. Inviting Arkansas and Methodist Family Health celebrate individuals who illuminate our community with goodness. Nominate someone today for a future feature that SHINES.

At St. James United Methodist Church, service is an integral component of the life of the church. From international mission teams to support of local organizations, the caring and sharing happens every day. Under the Bridge is a faith-based initiative for community members experiencing food insecurity. Jim Garrett and his wife Ruthanne Murphy established Under the Bridge after helping with recovery in Jim’s rural hometown after a devastating tornado. “We realized it was time to volunteer and brought the idea to our church from a church in southwest Little Rock,” he remembers. “And the rest of the story is still unfolding.” After more than a decade of leadership, Jim supports the compassionate oversight of Bryan Robinson and continues to enjoy the fellowship of preparing + providing meals each week. 

Bryan believes empowering others is paramount. At St. James United Methodist Church, this value is reflected in mission-based service; Bryan’s been an active member for more than 25 years. His family received a scholarship to participate on a Guatemala mission trip. “We were then asked to serve in a local mission, and we chose Under the Bridge.” This group of dedicated volunteers meets weekly to prepare the meals that were initially distributed under the Broadway Bridge in Little Rock. What began as monthly distribution, soon increased to two times each month. Jim recalls, “We’re reliable, like clockwork, and folks knew they could count on us for a nutritious meal.”  Whether it’s ham sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs and a banana or a casserole – Bryan notes there are ample servings of dignity + humility. “We hope a warm meal and lunch can help nourish the body and soul. It’s always been about the people… from all walks of life. Helping others through tough times is important.” 

As Christian leaders, Bryan and Jim share this vision with other community advocates. Nearly 30 churches with 250+ volunteers have participated and supported Under the Bridge. Jim notes that while the pandemic increased the need for service, it presented unprecedented challenges. “At St. James, we found creative ways to continue. Thanks to Ben E. Keith Foods for donating prepared items that just needed to be warmed and thanks to our volunteers, our hungry neighbors received a weekly hot meal.” St. James remains a source of inspiration for both men. Bryan concludes, “It’s so special to work alongside people of all ages and walks of life; seeing so many friendly faces is a blessing.”


Sponsored by Methodist Family Health

Nominations accepted at Foundation@MethodistFamily.org

methodistfamily.org | #ShareTheLightandSHINE

Inviting Arkansas

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