Church offers free gas to Hartford residents - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Church offers free gas to Hartford residents

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A driver fills up at a Valero station in Hartford as a church gives away free gas. (WFSB photo) A driver fills up at a Valero station in Hartford as a church gives away free gas. (WFSB photo)
(WFSB) (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A capital city church filled up the tanks of Hartford residents at two gas stations, for free on Wednesday. 

Mount Olive Church Ministries offered "Gas On God" to the first 75 Hartford residents at the Valero Gas station at 215 Albany Ave. and the Noble Gas station at 3250 Main St. 

The parishioners raised thousands. Each pump was able to be filled to $400 and one by one folks could get $20 worth of gas. 

Rev. Dion J. Watkins, senior pastor at Mount Olive Church Ministries, said he wanted to aid the community at large as "God directs our path."

"Let's pay it forward at the pump, where people can feel it," Watkins said. "It was a free will donation and we just raised it."

Church officials estimated more than 200 drivers were blessed by their kindness. Lala Davis was one of them.

"I have four children," Davis said. "I'm blessed to be able to be in line to get it." 

There was dozens of drivers lined up on Wednesday afternoon, waiting for gas. Some waited more than two hours for a fill-up. 

The line for the Valeron on Albany Avenue stretched around the block and at Noble Gas station on Main Street, cars were parked all the way back to Jennings Road. Police had to direct traffic.

Mount Olive, a "Church without Walls," has been a beacon of light in the Hartford community for 99 years, according to Watkins. He said "Gas on God" is just one of the many ways the church is doing community outreach.

With their mission complete, members were all smiles and so were drivers. The drivers said they were touched by random acts of kindness.

"She was on her way to work, she didn't have gas in her car to go to work, so she was able to get her gas," Shenell Ellerbe with Mount Olive Church Ministries. "It really helped her out." 

The next event for Mount Olive Church Ministries is a community block party where backpacks will be given out just in time for the start of school. The event is at 20 Battles St. in Hartford on Aug. 20 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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