Church volunteers provide oasis along trail in Mims


On the grounds of Mims United Methodist Church, bicyclists enjoy breakfast and camaraderie, courtesy of the church’s Bicycle Mission. Left: Cathy DeRusha calls to trail-goers: “Come on over. We’re serving breakfast.”

David Reigada

From 7 a.m. to noon each Saturday, breakfast items such as sausage, eggs, bacon and pancakes sizzle on the grill outside Mims United Methodist Church. The aroma beckons bicyclists, runners and hikers along the East Central Regional Rail Trail, just across the street.

Welcome to the Bicycle Mission, an expression of the church.

Coordinated by the Chain of Faith group, the outreach serves a complimentary breakfast from a deck behind a building on the grounds. Tables are spread with food and crowded with people enjoying breakfast and each other’s company.

Chairwoman Cathy DeRusha calls to the trail-goers: “Come on over. We’re serving breakfast.”

The outreach began a year ago when group member Stephanie Phillips saw a family bicycling along the trail. It made her think.

“Although the trail is safe with few traffic crossings, it has limited amenities such as water. I wanted to do more than watch people riding,” she said. “I can’t be a missionary overseas, but I can do something right here, to be a better disciple of Jesus.”

She and DeRusha were soon handing out water from the back of their cars. The effort mushroomed. Today, in addition to breakfast items, which vary week to week, water bottles are refilled and a bike rack is available.

The menu has expanded to include protein bars, fruit, cookies and cake.

“We serve 30 to 40 people each week,” Phillips said.

Businesses and individuals have caught the vision. Lowe’s donated a shed, a man brought a watermelon and Danni Zhu donated her artistic skills by painting a mural on the building. A mural on the deck is a work in progress.

Anyone is welcome to volunteer their time and skills.

“The Mims United Methodist Church has organized an amazing oasis on the trail,” the Titusville Area Chamber of Commerce wrote in a news release.

Bicyclist and breakfast regular Janet Tuttle had more practical concerns.

“The best thing is that they have a bathroom,” she said.

The church is located at 3302 Green St. in Mims.

For information about the outreach, go to their facebook page Mims UMC Chain of Faith Bike Stop.