Monday, December 29, 2014

Pastor Oscar and Keepin’ It Real Ministries would like to thank all of you who provided food, hats, gloves, coats, blankets, and gave of your time on Christmas to serve the homeless. We served over 250 people, and  many people were grateful for the meal, but also appreciative of the love and conversation. Thank you so much for your willingness to be the hands and feet of Christ!
Happy New Year and God bless!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hello everyone!
It is hard to believe that Christmas is next Thursday! We are scheduled to feed at 4 pm on Christmas Day, at the Transit Station on the corner of Laurel and Sumter Streets. We have commitments for some of the food, but are still in need of  chicken, mashed potatoes, stuffing, mac n cheese, and sweet potatoes. Someone also donated 4 cases of brown and serve rolls that need to be baked, if you have oven space. If you would like to help, would you please email us at to let us know what you plan to bring? It helps us to plan, and to be able to tell people what is still needed as we get closer to Christmas
Pastor Oscar would like volunteers to arrive around 3:30. He likes to give volunteers a brief orientation, and we usually pray together before we serve.

This time of year is especially difficult for people who are homeless. We hope that you will be in prayer for them and for the ministry, as we attempt to serve them. We hope that you are able to come out to share your food, your fellowship, and your smile. You will be much appreciated.
Hope you have a very merry and blessed Christmas!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Greetings from Keepin' It Real!
Keepin’ It Real Ministries is preparing to bless 400-500 homeless people on Sunday, November 16th, from 2-4 pm. The Thanksgiving Bash is an annual event which will include a worship service, a meal, and the distribution of new backpacks, hoodies, t-shirts, and toiletries.
Some donations and food commitments have already come in. At this time, we are in need of 200 backpacks, 450 hoodies, and 300 t-shirts. Also still needed for the meal are turkey, ham, starches, and vegetables. Financial donations will be used to purchase whatever is not donated.
If you and your small group, colleagues, family and friends would like to help, would you please contact us? If you need information about online resources, please let us know, and we will be happy to share that info with you. Please contact us at
This event is planned to specifically help homeless men and women. We are not able to accommodate children at this time. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in worship and in serving the homeless. However, it is important to respect the privacy of the homeless; photographs which show individual faces should not be taken.
Please mark your calendars for November 16th and we look forward to hearing from you! Thank you and God bless!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Hello all!

 Greetings from Keepin’ It Real Ministries! We have made it through the summer and are looking forward to the coming months! We continue to worship in the back of Finlay Park every Sunday, and many wonderful people continue to support us by providing after worship meals, testimony, messages from the Word, and beautiful song. The Lord is always present with us and He continues to touch lives. We are ever grateful to the individuals and churches who answer the call to be of service to this ministry and to the people we serve. So far, the city has allowed us to minister to the homeless without fees. Please keep us in your prayers that this will continue!

 With the beginning of September comes the effort to once again prepare for our large fall event - the Thanksgiving Bash. It is set for Finlay Park, Sunday, November 9th, from 2:15-4:15. We are gearing up to provide for 400-500 people.

As always we are seeking people who are willing to serve by committing to help collect:

· 400 new backpacks
· 400 new hooded sweatshirts
· 400 new t-shirts

We are also looking for commitments of turkey, ham, chicken, starches, vegetables, desserts, and canned sodas toward our goal of enough food to feed 400-500 that day. This sounds like a huge amount to amass in 10 weeks, and it is. But nothing is too big for God. He calls us to help others, and when many are willing to help, these goals are attainable. What about you? Is this a challenge that you would like to be part of? I encourage you to talk to your church, Sunday School class, Bible study group, colleagues, and family and friends! Would you be willing to sponsor a backpack, hoodie, or t-shirt drive? I can promise you that being part of this effort will bless you as much as you bless others. With the start of school just past us, there may be clearance sales to be found on backpacks and clothing.

If you are shopping and discover great deals, would you please let us know? On-line sources for seconds, irregulars, and items in bulk are cost effective ways to acquire these items. Please contact me if you need suggestions for on-line resources. We hope that you are well, and pray that you will keep Keepin’ It Real Ministries and the homeless in your prayers. Thank you and God bless!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Greetings in the name of Jesus. Just wanted to give an update on Keeping It Real Ministries: In mid –May, the rent on the ministry`s 3 houses was raised beyond the budget. An affordable house was found to serve parsonage, and 2 of the men currently living there. A permanent solution for a men`s house ( to accommodate 6-8) is still needed. Please pray that God will provide the right house for this life saving men`a ministry. We continue to worship in the Gadsden street corner of the park, without permit fees. However, Pastor Gadsden received a letter from Parks and Recreation stating that fees may be required in the near future. This is an outrage, when you consider how $600 per month could be use to help the homeless. I encourage you to write to city council. Members include Mayor Steve Benjamin, Sam David, Tameika Issac Devine, Leona Plaugh and Moe Baddourah. The address is City of Columbia, PO box 147, Columbia, SC 29217. We would be grateful for your efforts to express your opinions to city council. We always invite you to join us for worship in the park. We are always excited to have people share a testimony, a song, or a message. Thank you and God bless!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

God is so awesome! It was a gorgeous day in Finlay Park for our 9th Anniversary Celebration! It is difficult to believe, but wonderful to know that Pastor Oscar have been doing this difficult but necessary work for 9 years! We don't yet have a tally on how many we served, but it was a large crowd. We are extremely grateful to the volunteers who gave of their time, to those who donated food, and to those who donated backpacks, t-shirts, and toiletries. You all are extraordinary! Thank you and God bless you!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Keepin' It Real Ministries will Resume Service in the Park This Sunday

Greetings to you all! God is so good! We have fabulous news! Worship will resume in Finlay Park this coming Sunday (March 9th) at 3pm. We will no longer be able to use the stage but Pastor Oscar is fairly certain that we will be located in the back corner of the park, bordered by Gadsden Street. We hope that you will come out to worship with us! Without the protection of the stage, noe of our ongoing needs will be 2 to 3 pop up canopies. If you know of any that we might use, would you please let us know?

For the Anniversary Celebration (to be held on April 13th), we are in need of backpacks, t-shirts, and food for the meal. The meal coordinator is Tonya Maxwell ( and volunteer coordinator is Richard Krause (, if you would like to help. If underwear is donated, it will be included in the backpacks, and we also need sodas or bottled water to go with the meal. Sometimes people donate hams, turkeys, and other food items, and we have to search for freezer space. Oscar has asked that he is searching for a used freezer. If you can help us locate one, we would be grateful.

Also, there is a need for more boxes to store our donations. We currently use cardboard boxes but we are in need for plastic boxes. They will last longer, hold more donations, and will stack into each other more straight. We will also be able to see the clothes and other materials in them. If you would like to know more about this need or how you can help by sponsoring some boxes or donating for the box purchase you can speak to Jacob Carter ( for more information.

Thank you and God Bless!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Greetings in the name of Jesus! As you are likely aware, city council will be enforcing a permit system for the use of public parks by groups larger than 25. This would require Keepin’ It Real to pay a deposit of $350, and then a $75 per hour fee every Sunday. This is beyond the ministry budget, and even if it were affordable, it seems unconscionable to think that that money would go to the city and not for assistance to the homeless people that we are trying to serve. It is reasonable to require permits, but unreasonable to charge fees to non-profits. Pastor Oscar is in the process of finding an alternate location for worship and events. We will let you know where to find us when that decision is made. If you feel that this is unfair, we encourage you to voice your concerns to city council and to the mayor’s office! On a happier note, we are launching preparations for the 9th Annual Anniversary Celebration!! It will be held on Sunday, April 13th, at 2 pm, location TBA. We will worship together, feed a meal, and distribute backpacks with necessities. We are planning to bless 400-450 homeless. Will you help us? To make our goal, we need 300 new backpacks (18 or 19 inch), 300 new t-shirts (L-XXL), and new underwear (450 pr.). We are seeking individuals, churches, businesses, and groups to collect these items. The most cost effective way is to search for bulk discounts on-line. Wholesale Stockroom told us that we can order bulk for an added discount in mid- March when inventories are restocked, so financial donations would go toward ordering backpacks. Other sources we have used are,, and (If you find other good sources, please share!!!) Backpacks will be pre-loaded for ease of distribution, so we would need eveything by April 4th. Pastor Oscar is asking for pledges of a specific number, so that we can advise others as needed. Please let us know if you are able to help! We will also need volunteers to prepare and bring food. We are in need of turkey, ham, chicken, starches (mashed potatoes, rice, gravy, sweet potatoes, mac n’ cheese), vegetables, sodas/water, and desserts. We hope you can prepare some food and/or come out to serve. If you are a prayer warrior who would like to come out to pray with these dear folks, we would be grateful for you. If you would like to help, please contact our meal coordinator at, or our volunteer coordinator at We are excited to watch God work through you! The homeless will be on the receiving end of this effort and will be blessed, but those who serve will be blessed as well – many times over!! We hope you will enlist your family and friends, and we look forward to hearing from you! We also ask for your prayers that this Anniversary Celebration will enable the homeless to hear and respond to the gospel message, or be strengthened in their Christian walk. Hope to hear from you!