Block party held at Ministry Center

Photo By Kristen Luther
Jennifer Bradley and Justin Blevins make puppets at the Hale Community MinistriesÕ block party.
By Greg Miller

Hale Community Ministry and the Watauga Association of Baptists' Woman's Missionary Union on Tuesday evening held their Evangelistic Block Party 2003 at the Ministry Center on Arney Street.
   "We kind of use this as a back-to-school ministry," said Becky Brumitt, Church and Community Ministries Director, Watauga Association of Baptists.
   Families attended the event to shop for school clothes, as well as to enjoy popcorn, snow cones, crafts and games. The finale of the event was Servant Hands Puppet Ministry from Hampton First Baptist Church. "The young and old alike seem to enjoy the puppet ministry, and we have found it to be a wonderful, creative way to share the gospel," Brumitt commented.
   The event included a contest to see how far kids could throw a paper glider, how to make a hand puppet and how to do a puppet show using the puppets they made. A craft table was set up to make bookmarks, key chains, and bracelets. Face painting and balloons were also available.
   "This block party is possible because of the lay people in our churches who support it by providing school supplies, food, and man all of our booths," Brumitt commented. "This year we've had really good local businesses help on providing door prizes."
   Belle Aire Baptist Church in Murfreesboro provided a "big boost" in the clothing distribution endeavor, according to Brumitt. "Our school clothes distribution is a success because of their efforts in collecting the clothes, bringing them to us, and getting them ready to distribute," she commented. "They make that job so easy for us." This is the fifth year Belle Air Baptist Church has participated in the effort.
   An evangelistic team was on hand to do one-on-one ministry. "We plan to do follow up or home visits with all the families who register with us," Brumitt said Tuesday. A praise team of five college students came from the Tennessee Baptist Convention to help set up and participate in the block party and to help with all the clean up after the event.
   Brummit said those who have been helped by such events in previous years are appreciative of the assistance. "It's been gratifying to hear how appreciative the families are for the school supplies and school clothes, which can be a financial difficulty for some families," she commented.
   "We've seen them stand in line for over an hour in order to receive those clothes and school supplies. It helps us show our clients and our neighbors that we care about them, that we love them, and that we want to help them in Christ's name."
   Meeting spiritual needs was a key goal of the event. "Besides helping with school needs, we want to identify families who are looking for a church family or who are looking for a relationship with the Lord and we want to be able to meet those spiritual needs, as well as the physical needs that they will receive at the block party," Brumitt said.
   Brumitt estimated that approximately 30-40 volunteers would be involved in last night's event, "making the thing go, serving the food, working the craft and food booths, and walking among the crowd talking to people," he said.