What better way to start the school year than to come together as a community for food, fun, faith and fellowship? Yes, faith is included because as students and teachers return to the classroom, it is important to have school supplies, but it is more important to have Jesus. And so the ultimate purpose of the Back to School event was an evangelistic opportunity to share the love of Christ with families in the Southeast community. The Christian Education Department and the Lucille E. Dale (LED) Missionary Society of Campbell AME Church joined the members of Matthews Memorial Baptist Church to sponsor “Unity in the Community: Back to School Edition.” The event was held on Saturday, August 25, 2018 from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm on the grounds of Matthews Memorial.
Thanks to contributions made by members of Campbell AME Church and a donation from the LED Missionary Society, the community enjoyed hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn and drinks, as well as, other delicious food provided by food vendors. The Metropolitan Police Department was on hand to give out ice cream treats and to show their support for the youth of the community. Matthews Memorial musicians played gospel music throughout the event and inspirational speakers and praise dances entertained the crowds. Our new member, John Gladden, made the Campbell church family very proud as he encouraged the youth to “Just Do It.” Also, on hand to help keep order was our very own Security Department who did a wonderful job.
The first of two highlights of the event was the generosity of A Wider Circle, a nonprofit organization, who provided over 500 fully loaded backpacks. Backpacks were available for all school grades, K-12, and in many colors and styles. All students received a backpack—and some left with two or three backpacks. Special thanks to A Wider Circle!!! The second highlight was the invitation for discipleship and prayer with members of the community. The response was great and the ministerial staff of Matthews Memorial and Campbell prayed for persons who desired prayer. Additionally, we are happy that Boy Scout Troop 1869 of Campbell received many new members.
The Back to School event was enjoyable, but the needs of our students are greater than backpacks and hot dogs. We know that our students need to know that God has blessed them with healthy minds and that Jesus is with them throughout the day—on the bus, in the classroom, and at recess and lunch. We pray that was accomplished.