Photo by Madison Meyer
Several churches hosted fall festivals last weekend to connect with the community, gathering people from all over Searcy in fall-themed fellowship.
Downtown Church of Christ held their fall festival Oct. 30 from 3-6 p.m. The festivities included horseback rides, trunk-or-treat, hayrides, family pictures, lawn games and a hot dog supper. Jennifer Mills, one of the children’s ministers at Downtown, said Downtown wanted both community members and church members to attend this event, aligning with their mission of being relational disciple-makers. Mills said Downtown specifically advertised to families involved in 100 Families, the community organization that helps families in crisis.
“We believe strongly that families in crisis and families in need will always need community and connection and that they’re going to be more likely to find that in this kind of event than for us to expect them to come and be in our corporate worship,” Mills said. “So for us, relationship evangelism is very important, and we feel like discipling through these relationships will allow people to see Jesus in a fun, safe, family-oriented environment.”
Searcy First United Methodist Church also held their fall festival Oct. 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. This event featured a photo booth, hot dog supper, bounce houses — including an obstacle course and a police-car-shaped bounce house from the Searcy Police Department — and a trunk-or-treat. The top three trunks of the night, voted on by attendees, were awarded gift cards and mums.
Kiki Capps, the children’s ministry director at Searcy First, said it was important to let the community know they care and to make them aware of the opportunities they offer, from a feeding ministry to a discretionary fund to help those struggling with paying their bills.
“We want them to know that we’re here, that we love them,” Capps said. “They don’t have to join our church, but we offer so much. … We just want people to know what we have available for our community. And I think we don’t do everything right. But I think our outreach is a strong thing that we do here at Searcy First. So we just want to make people aware of that.”
Other local churches that planned fall festivals Oct. 30 included West Side Church of Christ and Cloverdale Church of Christ. West Side’s festival featured a potluck, devotional and carnival, while Cloverdale celebrated with a trunk-or-treat, devotional and chili cook-off.
First Baptist Church celebrated their annual trunk-or-treat Oct. 31 from 5:30-7:30 p.m., offering hot dogs, chips and drinks in addition to candy. First Baptist member Megan Churchwell said they were able to reach more of the community because of their proximity to downtown Searcy’s “Trick-or-Treat on the Square,” which occurred the same night.
“I know it’s just candy, but we just want to reach kids and reach families and love on them, and this is our way to do that,” Churchwell said. “It gives us a chance to interact with some … that we would never normally get to interact with, just because it’s such a community event that they come out for.”
Churchwell said the trunk-or-treat fell during First Baptist’s outreach week, part of an outline they have been using for their events that they refer to as FLOW, which stands for fellowship, leadership, outreach and worship.
“It’s just kind of really neat how it’s all falling together,” Churchwell said. “It’s all of us trying to be a New Testament church.”
If you missed these fall festivals, you can still attend one this Sunday, Nov. 6, at New Life Church Searcy from 5-7 p.m. The event will include free food, fun and games. The night will conclude with worship around a fire.