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Morgan Association church reaches community with faircomment (0)

June 9, 2005

By Martine G. Bates

Clowns holding bouquets of brightly colored balloons greeted visitors as they drove into the parking lot. Inside the fun continued with booths and activities for children and adults.
Shoal Creek Baptist Church, Morgan Baptist Association, recently sponsored the East Morgan Community Fair, a day-long event designed to reach out to the surrounding community.
The women’s ministry group, Ladies with a Focus, coordinated the fair. “Families aren’t what they used to be, and it’s harder to get them in (church),” said church member Vicki Terry, noting the fair was meant to offer a different twist to church.
Community member Teresa Necaise attended with her son Daniel. “We got a flyer … (and) I was interested in seeing what they have here,” she said. “This is a good thing for the community.”
Initially the women’s group had no idea where to begin, said Terry, so they started by contacting local vendors. “We asked local people because they represent the community but also because sometimes they need churches, too,” she said. “Getting vendors to come was the easy part.”
A number of organizations set up booths in the church’s fellowship hall, representing a variety of products and services from health food to an optical service. Several nonprofit groups, such as the local fire department and a local hospital, were there to inform visitors about their services.
The day was packed with 12 seminars and workshops, ranging from a clinic on heart health and information on Alzheimer’s disease to buying and selling a home to preventing youth violence and facts about methamphetamines. 
Eighteen children’s sessions covered interactive workshops on art, singing, fire safety and anger management, among other things.
While all of the sessions were well received, the response to the information about preventing youth violence was so enthusiastic that the presenter will be invited back to speak to the entire church.
According to Terry, the turnout was good, although smaller than the organizers had hoped.
Pastor Harold Fanning said, “We are trying to do a lot of unusual things. We’re trying to beat secularism on its own turf. The bottom line is, we are trying to make church relevant to people’s lives.”

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