We had the good fortune of connecting with Jon Rhiddlehoover and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Jon, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
In 2020, during the pandemic, the government created a program to distribute food boxes to families in need using local business, organizations, and churches as hubs for distribution. Central Bible Church in Fort Worth, where I currently serve as one of the pastors, agreed to be a hub. The response to the program from the community proved that their was a great need for food in the east Fort Worth community. After more research and many conversations, it was found that east Fort Worth is above the national average for food insecurity. The government program ended for us at the end of 2020 and after much prayer and consideration, the Lord prompted us to begin designing our own food pantry ministry in the community. People were still hungry, the need was still obvious, and we are a church that wants to love our neighbors well. After many conversations with food pantry ministries all over Tarrant County and beyond, we began to design a food pantry ministry that would make a long-term investment into the lives of our neighbors. The support of the church, the mentoring from other organizations, and the volunteers that serve week in and week out have continued to affirm that this food pantry, Central Storehouse, was built at the right time and in the right way so that the church would be a light into the community, feeding not only their bodies, but also their hearts.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.

After changing careers twice, landing in full-time ministry has been the greatest blessing in my career. Coming out of college I desired to be a football coach and school teacher, following in the footsteps of my father. Once in education, I had the blessing of meeting my wife A’Lana and we began building a family together. We made a shift in to corporate America and in that season, the Lord blessed us with great success in the industry and influence among my peers. Promotions came and I finished in business as the sales and marketing lead over a large operation in North Texas. The Lord had been prompting me all along the way to engage deeper in local outreach ministry, to teach and train at my church, and build groups and teams of people for ministry purposes. A door opened for me to shift from the corporate world to full-time ministry at the end of 2014 through many conversations with mentors and leaders within the church. We took a step of faith, believing that God was calling us into ministry, knowing we would be offering up a large portion of our income, future promotions, and many of the conveniences of life that my career was presently affording. Since taking this step, we have redefined what quality of life means. It is not defined by the money we make, the toys we acquire, or the vacations we experience. Quality of life is defined the sense of joy you feel when you use all the the Lord has given you to give back to others within your home, your community, and the world.

The greatest blessing in my life is being able to use the gifts that the Lord has given me to love people. He has given me the gift of leadership which I use daily to lead teams of people on staff or volunteers within ministry. He has given me the ability to build friendships and create safe places where deep conversations take place and mentoring relationships happen. He has given me vision to see what could be created to make a greater impact in our community in the future. And he has given me the ability to strategically plan with other leaders to see a vision through towards mission accomplishment.

At the Central Storehouse, we truly love building friendships with our neighbors, and the Lord has blessed us to engage with more than 3,000 unique households over the past 18 months we have been in operation.  Each family is welcomed into the Storehouse and sits with volunteers whose only agenda is to love on them.  So many people are hurting and struggling to come up for air in their lives due to several financial and health challenges.  Many people are alone and desire for others to see them and love them for who they are.  We have found that our time spent in conversation with our neighbors is just as valuable to them, sometimes more valuable to them, than the high-quality food on our shelves.  We pray with every family that enters the Storehouse and walk them back to shop for their food.  We are a client choice pantry and want our neighbors to walk away knowing that we love them and hold high the value of human dignity.  We cannot wait to see how the Central Storehouse will grow and bless our community in the years to come.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.

There are a few great spots I would highly recommend for anyone traveling to the area. I believe that Fort Worth continues to create amazing places for people to gather. I love the Sundance Square area, including the great restaurants and unique shops. Not far from Sundance is a great area off West 7th with great eats like Velvet Taco and a great breakfast spot like Snooze. The Clear Fork area, right off the Trinity Trail just west of downtown is a growing space with a great farmers market and plenty of new shopping.

I love the Grapevine area and all of the year-round events and festivals they host. Main Street has some great restaurants like Mi Dia and Chez Fabien, not to mention some awesome coffee shops like Re:defined Coffee House. They have an amazing display during the Christmas holiday season, fun for any family.

I would always take people to AT&T Stadium for a tour and visit Texas Live and the new Texas Rangers ballpark. This is another growing area that is developing.

My wife and I are suckers for great breakfast spots. A few of our favorites are First Watch, Snooze, and Main St Bistro and Bakery in Grapevine.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I dedicate this shoutout to the more than 120 volunteers that serve daily at the Central Storehouse. Their continued investment of their time and heart into this ministry truly contribute to its success.  I am also thankful for the leadership team and elder board of Central Bible Church who have trusted me to create a ministry to feed our neighbors food and hope that comes from a relationship with Jesus.

Website: www.central-storehouse.org

Instagram: centralstorehouse

Facebook: Central Storehouse

Image Credits
Photos have been taken and submitted by the Central Bible Church communications team.

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