COVINGTON — If you traveled Highway 212 April 6, you might have seen people hanging out, praying, worshipping, and playing in bouncy houses at Denny Hobbs Park during the Zion Baptist Church First Annual Community Spring Extravaganza.
“I think our goal was we just want to say to the community that we are here, we care about you, and we want to minister to you. And, that is what we did that day,” said Community and Discipleship Pastor Frank Daws.
The free event welcomed approximately 600 to 650 people, including 137 children. Daws said the park, a mile-and-a-half from the church, is a very popular walking spot and some walking there weren’t at the park specifically for the event. The church mailed out 6,000 invitations.
Pastor Buddy Lamb of Schomburg Road Baptist Church in Columbus entertained and presented the Gospel. Daws said he doesn’t know if anyone accepted Christ, but since then visitors have been saying they heard about the church because of the block party.
“More than anything, it was just to say we are here for you – the community – and we love you,” Daws testified.
Drawings at the block party included prizes such as a television, an Amazon Echo Dot, gift cards, and an Amazon Kindle. Stone Mountain Baptist Association provided games, bouncy houses, and cotton candy/popcorn. Local commissioners took part, judging a chili cookoff.
“We could not be more excited about how the community responded,” said Church Administrative Assistant Rebekah Dickerson.
The event featured a “Got Water” tent, which was a meeting place for prayer and support. A “Free Prayer” area in the middle joined other sections devoted to those speaking primarily Spanish and English.
“We feel like this affected our church as much from the inside as it affected the community. While our friends and neighbors got to see a church that really cares for them, our own people got to see what God can do with a church that truly invests itself in the Great Commission,” said Dickerson.
Food Depot and Eastside Baptist in Stockbridge donated food while individuals donated for an extra bouncy slide, the door prizes, and other games. The church plans to host the event at the church next year, April 25, 2020, in its Sanders Family Life Center, which includes a gym and kitchen with plenty of parking.
Daws said the 193-year-old church’s community emphasis also includes Vacation Bible School, prayer walks, and providing schools supplies and teacher meals for three local schools.
“It’s because of people in our church want to give, work, and roll up their sleeves and do the things we need to do. That’s what’s happening,” he noted.
Beginning in June, Zion Baptist will begin working on a school fund ministry called “Proverbs 22:6,” with hopes to reach their goal of $4,000.