Montgomery’s Heritage Church holds unique missions event involving all agescomment (0)
May 3, 2012
By Anna Keller
The members of Heritage Baptist Church, Montgomery, were certainly willing to think “outside the box” for their most recent churchwide missions event. Not only was their Rise Up 2012: Dance Your Shoes Off flash mob April 14 something that garnered community interest, but it also was a way for members of all ages to participate.
“Heritage is all about the generations coming together to worship and serve God, and Rise Up 2012 created a beautiful picture of that,” said Kenneth Loomis, the church’s worship minister. “There were three babies in the womb with their expectant mothers participating, a 4-and-a-half month old in the arms of his dad, children and teens and then adults of all ages with the oldest participant being an 86-year-old lady (Sara Smith).”
And those members’ efforts were not in vain.
Thanks to the high-energy event — which drew in 300 viewers in addition to the 300 flash mob participants — the church received 550 donated pairs of shoes, which will be distributed to people in need both locally and internationally.
According to Loomis, despite the large number of participants, the choreography for the event came together smoothly. Rehearsals began in late February, and participants had the option of attending in-person practices at the church or rehearsing at home with the help of a practice video (supplied by Second Baptist Church, Houston, who originally developed the choreography).
“Dance Your Shoes Off was a spiritual event for me from the beginning to the end,” said Smith, a member of Heritage. “I think God had to say, ‘Well done!’ when He saw those hundreds of pairs of shoes left on the grass for people who need new shoes.”
Word about the event spread in a variety of ways. One Huntsville man happened to be passing through town and was sidetracked by the event, stopping by a local shoe store to purchase a pair to donate. A couple of local Montgomery news channels were present to document the event.
“We didn’t do a lot of advertising, because we were mainly interested in our folks doing it organically,” Pastor Teman Knight said. “One of the neat things that happened was a lady heard about it in the barbershop and went home and told her friend in Prattville. That friend happened to be Jill Zimanek, a radio host for one of the Christian stations here, The River. She came and learned the choreography and danced with us on the 14th with three or four of her friends, plus she talked about it on the radio.”
For Zimanek, being a part of the event created a memory that will stay with her for life.
“I was overcome with emotion during Rise Up,” she said. “I think it was just a little tiny bit of what heaven will be like, and I was just so thrilled to be a part of it. Praise God for Heritage Baptist Church, Montgomery, and their vision and efforts to pull this together. I’m sure God was smiling. I could feel it.”
Loomis said the success of this event has made another Rise Up a definite possibility in the future.
“The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive,” Loomis said. “This event has been life-changing for individuals, families and Heritage. Conversations will begin soon about the future, and I think it’s very likely you’ll see Rise Up 2013 in Montgomery next year.”