Free Tuesday lunches among most popular Sheep Inc. Arnold activities
The former Lazarus’ Tomb Coffeehouse Ministries has been known in recent years as Sheep Inc. Arnold, but the center’s dedication to serving local people has endured for more than four decades.
Robert G. and Rosetta Lecocq of New Kensington founded Lazarus’ Tomb in 1972 to serve Arnold and New Kensington.
After Robert G. Lecocq died in 2011, his son Bob Lecocq, now pastor of Burrell Community Church, was asked to oversee the Arnold site. Bob Lecocq had been living in Bowling Green, Fla., at the time.
The center was renamed Sheep Inc. Arnold in 2012, and it offers activities every week, including concerts and Bible studies, but one of its biggest draws is the free Tuesday lunches. Bob Lecocq said, on average, the lunches draw 150 people.
People who come in are treated to a full meal. On July 18, the lunch was pork chops with stuffing, green beans with an optional small salad and dessert.
Norene Gibson of Arnold has been coming in since the Lecocqs started the center and has followed it as it grew and changed locations.
“They’re good people, very good people,” Gibson said. “They affect it (the community) really well.”
Sheep Inc. also is a place for members of the community to connect.
Natalie Harris said coming to Sheep Inc. has allowed her to network. “I got a job by coming in here to eat,” Harris said.
Not all connections are for business. Rosetta Lecocq said she’d guess that at least 28 couples who ended up married met at the ministry.
April Botemp of Arnold said she’s been coming to Sheep Inc. with her four children — Destiny, Jeff, Elizabeth and Nick — for about a year. She appreciates the services Sheep Inc. has for kids and wishes there were more activities for older kids.
“I like it here. I feel comfortable,” Botemp said.
Bob Lecocq said Sheep Inc. has been planning to expand some activities to get teenagers to come in.
A crew of six volunteers comes every week to prepare and serve the food.
Ernie Jones of Wilkinsburg makes the half-hour drive every week to help prepare the Tuesday lunches with his half-brother, Joe Marshall of Arnold,
“It gives me a good feeling to help people out,” Marshall said. “I look forward to it every Tuesday.”
Desiree Resetar of Arnold has performed music at the lunches.
“I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” Resetar said. “I like to minister songs and speak to the broken-hearted about God’s truth.”
Nancy Conrad of Arnold ministers in a different way during the Tuesday lunches — by reading prayers. She said she had been coming to read prayers for about a year.
Bob Lecocq said the long-term effect of having Lazarus’ Tomb and Sheep Inc. around is that, “It meets people’s needs physically with food and spiritually, with advice.”