BurkesvilleBetween 400 and 500 people attended Burkesville Baptist Church’s first ever Family Safety Day. The event brought together community agencies, law enforcement officials, health and human service officials and children for some positive interaction in light of all the negative news on television, church leaders said.
“It was a win-win for the church, the community, law enforcement and all other agencies that participated,” Mark Shelton, Burkesville’s pastor, said. “I would say it was an overwhelming success.”
The community began hearing about the event and funding began coming in from local groups like the Cumberland County Sheriff’s office and local insurance agencies, such as State Farm and Farm Bureau. The school resource centers and county 4-H organizations also got involved, and Wal-Mart even provided a grant to buy six bicycles to give away.
More than 20 community agencies taught classes ranging from gun safety, ATV and four-wheeler safety to bike safety, fire safety, infant CPR and first aid, among others. Volunteers from the church interacted with visitors, served food, and worked a VBS information table.
According to the information sheets, one third of attenders had no church home or affiliation, Shelton said. At the end of the day, 38 children were enrolled for VBS and contact was made with an additional 30 unchurched families.
“Our people saw this as not just a safety event, but an opportunity to get families on our church campus and introduce them to our church and perhaps even to share Jesus Christ,” Shelton said.
Plans are already being made for next year’s event and new agencies are contacting the church weekly to get signed up to participate. (WR)