Pastoring two churches and feeding the hungry is all in a day's work

After moving to the Blue Water Area just over a year ago, Senior Pastor Branden Hunt has worked to find ways to support his new community. Helping to further efforts to tackle food insecurity across the region, he is now widening his focus.

As the former pastor of St. Phillip, where he served for 6 years, Hunt's main focus was how he could help feed the hungry. Hunt moved to St. Clair from Gross Ile in December 2021 after he and his wife Alonna were married.

“When my wife and I got engaged, I was serving at a church in Trenton, Michigan,” Hunt says. “When we decided where we wanted to live, we decided on St. Clair.”

It was just a matter of time before he decided to pick up where he left off in Trenton, finding ways to feed the less fortunate.
St. Paul Lutheran Church is located at 3790 West Water St. in Port Huron.
Now, Hunt is the pastor of not one but two churches in Port Huron, St. Paul Lutheran Church and St. Martin Lutheran Church. In addition to overseeing a congregation size of 120 and 150 members between the two churches, Hunt also helps continue the efforts with the community garden behind St. Paul Lutheran Church.

“We’re excited about working with other churches and organizations in the community and maybe there is a possibility that we can help other churches start a community garden as well,” Hunt says.

The community garden at St. Paul Lutheran Church

Located at 3790 West Water St., the community garden was started by one of the church's members, Don Strauss.

“We have produced a little under 12,000 pounds of food this year, which is the second largest amount of food from our community garden since it was started 14 years ago,” he says. “All of the produce that we harvest goes to Mid City Nutrition, so those who come are getting a variety of fresh vegetables.”

In addition to providing food to those in need, Hunt is also looking for ways to help the growing number of homeless in the area.

“We are in the midst of exploring ways that we can support people who are suffering from homelessness in Port Huron,” he says. “We are aware that the community is working together to get an emergency homeless shelter for men, and we want to support that as well. So, we don’t have anything set in stone yet, but that is definitely the direction we are going.”

Read more articles by Harold Powell.

Harold Powell is the Community Correspondent for The Keel and owner of Phantom Pen Media offering multimedia services to individuals and organizations across the Blue Water Area. He is a current board member for the Blue Water Area Chamber of Commerce and the most recent Chamber Choice recipient at the Eddy Awards. Harold is an avid volunteer for the YMCA of the Blue Water Area as well as Bridge Builders Counseling & Mentoring and in his spare time, enjoys spending time with his son, writing and listening to music, playing video games, and not folding laundry.