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Block party sowing seeds of spiritual harvest

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A tug of war between males and females was one of the many activities at the evangelistic block party. JOE WESTBURY/Index A tug of war between males and females was one of the many activities at the evangelistic block party. JOE WESTBURY/Index

POWDER SPRINGS — It’s safe to say that not many people knew about Powerhouse International Church the morning of April 24. It’s also safe to say that the number increased by at least 500 later that Saturday afternoon as the new church plant treated the community to an evangelistic block party that exceeded the group’s wildest expectations.

The smell of hot dogs coming off the grill mixed with the laughter of inflatable moon bounce houses for children and more than a dozen other attractions. The excitement was also reflected in the packed parking lot at Doss Memorial Baptist Church in rural Cobb County.

“It was awesome, the Lord really blessed us,” founding pastor Kwame Frimpong said at the end of the day.

The block party was designed to increase visibility for the new international congregation that is being launched in West Metro Baptist Association. Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lithia Springs, where Ben Lang pastors, is serving as the Sending Church through a partnership with the North American Mission Board and the Georgia Baptist Mission Board; Doss Memorial is hosting the fledgling Bible study.

A young girl, who just won a bicycle, points to the bike of her choosing. Evangelist John Dorsey, with microphone, emceed all the events. JOE WESTBURY/Index A young girl, who just won a bicycle, points to the bike of her choosing. Evangelist John Dorsey, with microphone, emceed all the events. JOE WESTBURY/Index

As excited as a new father

Frimpong was as excited as any new father as he saw the potential for the forthcoming birth of the congregation.

“Without a core group it is very difficult to start a new church, so we are using this block party to build visibility and excitement. We currently have four or five families who regularly attend on Sunday with 25 total attendance, but I am praying for 25 before we launch.

The next morning Frimpong was closer to that goal. Following the block party he had 15 families in the pews with about 70 in total attendance. Worship services are being held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday and a Bible study at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, both at Doss Memorial.

“If there is one prayer request that I have, it is to ask the Lord for an assistant to help me. I have so much work to do but not enough time to do it,” he added.

Doss Memorial pastor Bill Smith helped park cars in the noon day sun. JOE WESTBURY/Index Doss Memorial pastor Bill Smith helped park cars in the noonday sun. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Not new to church starting

Frimpong is not new to church starting. He started his first in Amsterdam, then Virginia, next back in his native Ghana, and now in Georgia. The former North Carolina church where he was a member, Lake Norman Baptist Church in Charlotte, is helping with financial contributions.

Today he serves as a church planting missionary through the North American Mission Board and a church planter with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

Bill Smith, pastor at Doss Memorial, said Frimpong is as much an answer to the church’s prayers as Frimpong says the church is to Powerhouse International.

“I was asking the Lord one day what we, as a congregation, could do to further His Kingdom. We have no debt, our building is paid for and we don’t believe He wants us to relocate,” Smith said while parking cars on Saturday.

“Just a few days later Kwame showed up in our driveway and asked if they could meet at our church. It was the match between our resources and their needs that we were praying for,” he adds.

Lang, who also serves as a Georgia Baptist Mission Board state missionary through the agency’s Intercultural Church Planting and Missions Ministry department, says Frimpong’s ministry skills are second to none.

Zyion Edmonds, age 9, chooses his bike in the afternoon drawing as Evangelist John Dorsey, right, shares his excitement. JOE WESTBURY/Index Zyion Edmonds, age 9, chooses his bike in the afternoon drawing as evangelist John Dorsey, right, shares his excitement. JOE WESTBURY/Index

'An anointed man of God'

“Kwame is an anointed man of God who has his hand on the pulse of the African American culture. He loves God and loves people and is a powerful communicator,” he said while observing the high-energy afternoon.

The evangelistic block party was just one example of how Frimpong used his people skills to draw a crowd and use it to share the gospel. There were bicycles being given away, free groceries and clothing, games, a pie eating contest, a drawing for a free iPod, iPad, and laptop computer, and haircuts, manicures, and pedicures.

Gerald Rose, president and founder of New Order National Human Rights Organization, provided clothing to be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.

No one was happier at the block party than Zyion Edmonds on his new bike. JOE WESTBURY/Index No one was happier at the block party than Zyion Edmonds on his new bike. JOE WESTBURY/Index

“We applaud Pastor Kwame for his desire to bring the gospel to this community,” he said as he watched adults and children sort through the clothing spread on tables under the deep blue sky.

'Bringing peace and healing to the community'

“He’s not just behind the pulpit, he’s walking the streets to bring peace and healing to the community. We have plenty of churches but not enough pastors who are burdened with making a difference in society, healing its hurts. We need more pastors like Kwame on the streets.

“We know that the gospel changes lives and that’s what Pastor Kwame is doing. He’s a blessing and an example to all of us.”

Launch pastor Kwame Frimpong of Powerhouse International Church, center, visits with associate pastor Steve DuVall of Macland Baptist Church, left, and pastor Ben Lang, right, of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lithia Springs. Cornerstone is the Sending Church which is playing an important role in the launch. JOE WESTBURY/Index Launch pastor Kwame Frimpong of Powerhouse International Church, center, visits with associate pastor Steve DuVall of Macland Baptist Church, left, and pastor Ben Lang, right, of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Lithia Springs. Cornerstone is the Sending Church which is playing an important role in the launch. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Darnell Tolbert, center, rests momentarily as Faith Smith wraps up a hot dog in foil in the meal assembly line. JOE WESTBURY/Index Darnell Tolbert, center, rests momentarily as Faith Smith wraps up a hot dog in foil in the meal assembly line. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Cornerstone Baptist Church deacon Dwight Reese, left, and Powerhouse member Barrion Boyle, left, grill hot dogs. JOE WESTBURY/Index Cornerstone Baptist Church deacon Dwight Reese, left, and Powerhouse member Barrion Boyle, left, grill hot dogs. JOE WESTBURY/Index

The young girls and women provided stiff competition to the young boys and men in the rope pull. JOE WESTBURY/Index The young girls and women provided stiff competition to the young boys and men in the rope pull. JOE WESTBURY/Index

It was boys against girls ... and men against women ... in a massive tug of war. JOE WESTBURY/Index It was boys against girls ... and men against women ... in a massive tug of war. JOE WESTBURY/Index

New Order National Human Rights Organization provided donated clothes for the event. JOE WESTBURY/Index New Order National Human Rights Organization provided donated clothes for the event. JOE WESTBURY/Index

Free haircuts were a popular attraction at the many booths at the block party. DeDee Davis trims the hair of young Mahlik Gentry, age 3. JOE WESTBURY/Index Free haircuts were a popular attraction at the many booths at the block party. DeDee Davis trims the hair of young Mahlik Gentry, age 3. JOE WESTBURY/Index

A sign outside Doss Memorial Baptist Church in Powder Springs announces the location of the congregation, now meeting as a Bible study. JOE WESTBURY/Index A sign outside Doss Memorial Baptist Church in Powder Springs announces the location of the congregation, now meeting as a Bible study. JOE WESTBURY/Index

More than 500 guests were attracted to the block party through colorful invitations. JOE WESTBURY/Index More than 500 guests were attracted to the block party through colorful invitations. JOE WESTBURY/Index

A few hundred guests joined in with a dance contest on the lawn of the church. JOE WESTBURY/Index A few hundred guests joined in with a dance contest on the lawn of the church. JOE WESTBURY/Index

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