Fayette County

Shoppers surprised as Lexington church helps pay for their groceries

Erma Mack was shocked as LaRon Tanksley, pastor of Perfecting Praise Church, caught her in line and paid $50 toward her shopping bill at the Bryan Station Kroger on Monday evening.
Erma Mack was shocked as LaRon Tanksley, pastor of Perfecting Praise Church, caught her in line and paid $50 toward her shopping bill at the Bryan Station Kroger on Monday evening. mcornelison@herald-leader.com

Some shoppers at the Kroger on Bryan Station Road got a pleasant surprise when they stepped up to the cash register Monday night.

Members of Perfecting Praise Church contributed $50 toward the grocery bills of six unsuspecting families.

“Right now there’s so much negativity,” said Alisa Tanksley, whose husband, LaRon Tanksley, is the church’s pastor. “We just wanted to spread some cheer during this holiday season.”

A surprised Marlene Gilson, whose bill came to $426 before the church stepped in to help, gave hugs to each church member who was present.

“It helps me a lot,” she said.

Gilson said she had made a two-page shopping list before coming to the store and was buying not only for her family’s Thanksgiving meal but for part of their Christmas dinner.

“It’s going to feed us good,” she said, smiling.

Perfecting Praise meets at 512 Georgetown Street and is a new church formed about three months ago, Alisa Tanksley said.

She said church members wanted to do “a kind gesture” toward others, so they took up a special collection for the visit to Kroger.

We just wanted to spread some cheer during this holiday season.

Alisa Tanksley of Perfecting Praise Church

The church members who handed out the money didn’t know the specific circumstances of the families they helped; they were just looking for people with loaded carts containing turkeys and other makings of a Thanksgiving meal.

Marie Forbes said that at first she was confused by the group of people who seemed a little too interested in her grocery cart, which contained an enormous turkey for her family get-together.

“I was like, ‘Why are they eyeballing us?’” she said afterward.

But once she learned their intent, she said she appreciated the kindness.

“It was nice,” she said.

Alisa Tanksley said her husband stepped in with a $50 bill after hearing another woman say, “This is a lot of money and I really can’t afford this” as she approached the checkout.

In addition to helping pay for their groceries, LaRon Tanksley handed each family DVDs of recent worship services at the church.

“We just wanted to give them a little light,” Alisa Tanksley said.

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