Jan 12, 2012 • By

They won a Mary Mary concert!

Rev. Vivian Santimore Grubb jokes that if he had known a three-minute video about his little church was going to get so much attention, he would’ve dressed up more.

Still, he says the piece perfectly captures what his congregation is all about – impacting the community any way they can.

Members of True Holy Church – City of Refuge in Brooklyn, N.Y., were busy distributing clothes and food to people in need when the video was shot for a contest sponsored by Pillsbury and Mary Mary (Erica and Tina Campbell), one of the most successful musical groups in the urban/inspirational/crossover markets.

True Holy Church’s service is summarized in the video. The contest, called “Something Big,” challenged churches to do something big for their communities. An enthusiastic parishioner wrote, voiced and edited the video. She even composed the song playing in the background.

Her efforts to showcase the church paid off!

Online voters from across the U.S. picked the church’s video about their projects as their favorite in the contest, so the church won a concert by Mary Mary and breakfast sponsored by Pillsbury.

Here’s their winning video:

“You can hear vacuum cleaners going in the background and people moving boxes,” Grubb points out. “We were in the middle of doing work when we actually did the video.”

Work is something the 100-member church does a whole lot of. Volunteers serve hundreds of people hot meals on holidays. They provide shelter for homeless men and pass out fully loaded backpacks to children. All of that is in addition to running a clothing bank and food pantry each Saturday.

“We started our pantry by saying to our members, if you’re going to the supermarket and you’re going to buy five cans of peas, buy six. Bring us the extra can,” recalls Grubb. “That’s how we started feeding a handful of people.”

That handful of people has expanded. In 2010, the church distributed 10,000 bags of food to its community. The count is expected to be even higher for 2011 when it’s tallied.

Since winning the contest, word is spreading about True Holy Church. Grubb believes that the more people hear about the work they do, the more people will want to help.

“I just got a phone call from a gym that did a food drive. They were calling around pantries, and they asked us if we’d pick up a couple boxes of food. They found our name on Google.”

Nope, Grubb had no clue a three-minute video about his little church would lead to such things. He’s just so glad it did.

Editor’s note: Mary Mary is the featured artist behind the new Pillsbury Egg Scrambles and Grands! Biscuit Sandwiches – the ads feature their jingle, “Brand New Morning.”