Making a Difference: Man mows lawn at Bethel Bible Village for 10 years for free
It’s the time of year when you probably see people mowing the lawn every single day, but for one Chattanooga man the goal isn’t just about lawn care.
He’s on a mission to give back and help others through a mowing ministry.
Every Thursday you’ll find Tom Flenniken mowing some of the 50 plus acres of lawn at Bethel Bible Village in Hixson.
“In a small way I feel like I'm serving the Lord by serving this wonderful Christian organization. They do so much good for the community and it's just a joy to be able to do it,” Flenniken told Channel 3.
The 74-year-old grandfather says the idea came to him when his Sunday school teacher mentioned the faith-based ministry, which helps families in crisis, needed help maintaining the property on the school’s campus.
“As a kid, I grew up making my money during the summer mowing yards so I thought I can do that,” said Flenniken.
He jumped on a mower and has been cutting the grass there ever since. Flenniken has been mowing at Bethel faithfully for more than 10 years and he does it for free.
The retired bank president spends about three hours each week mowing.
“I was confined to an office for 37 years and I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors. I am blessed to be in excellent health and able to do this,” Flenniken told Channel 3.
Staff members at Bethel say they could not keep up with the work without Flenniken’s help and they are lucky to have him.
"There are many ways to help at Bethel. A lot of people think that they can only volunteer and work directly with the children and that is important and we're blessed with many volunteers who do that. Tom, however, sets a great example for those who are able to do other things to help us maintain the campus for the children,” said Bethel Bible Village CEO Rosalind Connor.
Flenniken is hopes his volunteer work sets an example for his grandchildren about the importance of giving back and helping others.
“I can’t think of a better cause to support that what they are doing,” Flenniken told Channel 3.
He says he plans to continue mowing at Bethel as long as he’s healthy and able.
“As long as I can, as long as the Lord lets me,” said Flenniken.
If you’d like to inquire about volunteering, you can contact Bethel Bible Village at (423) 842-5757.