East Side Baptist Church Fall Festival: reaching beyond the walls

W.C. Mann

CULLMAN – East Side Baptist Church (ESBC) held its annual Fall Festival Saturday afternoon.  ESBC has been holding these festivals for years at the church, but planners decided to make a change this time around, moving the event to East Side/Lions Club Park on Seventh Street. More than 50 volunteers set up a variety of activities: corn hole, face painting, photo booth, cake walk, basketball, fishing (for prizes, not fish!), hay ride and an inflatable.  Free food and drinks were given out to kids and grownups alike.  Leaders said they hoped to see at least 300 children and their families.

Senior Pastor Matt Smith personally drove the ATV to pull the hay ride around the park.  Pausing for a few moments while a fresh group of kids loaded into the trailer, he reflected on the change of venue.

"We've done this at the church for years, but we wanted to get out in the community, outside the four walls of the church," he said.

Smith noted that volunteers shared Bible verses with kids who came, and that they sought ways for each activity to create opportunities to share the Gospel.

"We do everything," he said, "to communicate the message of the Gospel."

Barbara Kennemur and her husband, Chairman of Deacons Joel Kennemur, served hot dogs and popcorn.  When asked why they had chosen to come out and work, Barbara Kennemur answered, "Because we want to!" 

She went on to explain, "We want to help the church, and do it for the good of the Lord."

She shared about East Side's desire to reach out to unchurched families in the neighborhood around the church, by ministering to their children. 

Joel Kennemur says he saw the event as a way for East Side to serve the community by providing its children with an opportunity for recreation.  And his final offered explanation was similar to that of his wife’s, and seemed to echo the sentiments of many other volunteers: "…for the glory of the Lord."


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