Churches unite for family fun day

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A day of worship, music and games is planned for Sept. 22 in Hillsville, involving 50 local churches so far.

By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE  — Around 50 churches hope to welcome more than 1,500 participants to Christian Family Fun Day Sept. 22.
The majority of activities will take place at the Grover King Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1115 after a 10:30 a.m. kick-off parade on Main Street travels to the post grounds.
At the post, three stages inside and out will host speakers, dramas and singing every 20 minutes until 3 p.m., said Jessica Talley, who’s in charge of publicity for the event. Other activities include games, music, hayrides, a launch of 500 balloon in the shape of a cross, hoop shoot, dunking booth, free food and special guests.
Austin Caviness — weatherman for Winston-Salem, N.C., channel WXII-12 — is one such guest. He will serve as the grand marshal for the parade and will give testimony at the VFW.
Contemporary Christian artists such as Tremayne Blair and Emily Arnold will sing.
Churches involved come mostly from the Twin Counties but some are from as far away as Dublin and Christiansburg.
David Bumgarner of contemporary Christian station WBFJ-FM out of Winston-Salem will do a live show from the VFW.
David Poff of Operation Christmas Shoebox, associated with Franklin Graham Ministries, will set up at the event, as well.
“That was quite an honor for them to call us and ask if they could be at the event,” Talley said.
The main goal for the non-denominational Christian Family Fun Day involves making connections between the attendees and the kinds of worship they want to find locally, said Talley and fellow organizer Richard Edwards. Having the speakers and churches there will allow that networking to take place.
“They can say, ‘I like this speaker — where’s he a pastor at?’” Talley explained, giving an example.
“This would be all about people being saved and being connected with the church,” Edwards said.
Not only are these connections between individuals and churches important, but he hopes one long-lasting result of Christian Family Fun Day is increased levels of communication between churches.
“What’s amazing to me is the number of churches we got to work together,” he said.
Organizers want everybody to feel welcome to attend and be comfortable once they get there. For that reason, Edwards said the event will have “prayer warriors” on hand to pray with attendees, as well as help guide them to the activities they want to participate in.
“We are preparing for 1,500 to attend,” Talley said. “With the involvement that we’ve got from the 50 churches, that alone will bring in that [number].”
Everyone has given their full cooperation to the idea, including Town of Hillsville officials who approved the parade permit and a resolution of support, organizers noted. The town also donated use of its bouncy house.
Organizers expect it will become an annual event.
It’s not about any one person. Christian Family Fun Day is a community event.
“God is opening up doors to the event that’s amazing and astonishing to us,” Talley said.
“We want it to stay about our lord and savior Jesus Christ,” Edwards said.
The final planning meeting for the event will be Sept. 18 at 6 p.m. at the VFW. Any churches interested in getting more information about the event can attend.

For more, visit the event's Facebook page.