Ambassador of Hope - Capital Area Food Bank
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Ambassador of Hope

By Shamia Holloway September 19, 2014

settlesThis past July, the Capital Area Food Bank and the Anacostia community lost a true hunger champion with the passing of the late great Reverend Roy Settles.  The Ambassador Baptist Church perched at the intersection of Minnesota Avenue and Good Hope Road, SE stands as a firm reminder of the legacy Rev. Settles established in his long career of non-stop giving.
Established in 1968 by Rev. Settles, Ambassador Baptist Church grew to be an integral part of the Anacostia community with a first-of-its-kind 24-hour food distribution center; licensed Day Care Center; community residence facility; an annex; a Christian School for children – Kindergarten through grade eight; and several rental properties  that were used as emergency housing  for church members.
Rev. Settles partnered with the CAFB in 1989 and distributed over a million pounds to residents in need – averaging 22,500 pounds monthly.  He didn’t limit his services to Southeast residents but served anyone who needed food. A true pillar of the community, Rev. Settles played a critical role in helping the CAFB fulfill its mission to feed people struggling with hunger throughout the Washington metro region.
Anyone who ever met him has their own vivid personal recollection.  “In my early tenure, Marian Peele and I drove out on March 21, 2013 to pay Rev. Settles a visit.  His health had begun to decline and he was in a recliner in his living room.  He lit up the room with stories of his work in the government, the early building of his church and his passion for helping those less fortunate.  We sat for an hour or so, listening to his stories.  You could sense his passion and his optimism and his strong belief in helping those without.  As he talked about his commitment, he was overcome by emotion.   The time with Reverend Settles flew and he’d given me a gift I won’t forget.” – Nancy Roman, President and CEO
“I met Rev. Settles soon after starting at the food bank 24 years ago.  He supported me both personally and professionally.  If I needed anything, Rev. Settles always said yes.  Similarly, when Rev. Settles asked for anything, I always said yes.  He never requested anything for himself, it was always for others.  Once I called Rev. Settles at 7:30 pm on a Friday evening.  I had received a call from a gentleman who needed food.  He worked the late shift and he just couldn’t go home without food for his family.  He didn’t get off work until midnight.  I called Rev. Settles and asked if I could send the gentleman to him, even though he wouldn’t arrive at Ambassador until 12:30 am.  Rev. Settles simply replied, “Tell him to come, I’ll be here.”  – Marian Peele, Sr. Director of Partner and Programs
Reverend Roy Settles left the world peacefully and quietly on Friday, July 25, 2014.  His passion for helping others lives on throughout the Washington metro region, in the lives of Anacostia residents and the in the heart and work of the Capital Area Food Bank.