WAXAHACHIE — Bringing back a community tradition of food, music, and family-friendly activities, Covenant Life Church threw a fun-fueled Block Party on North College Street last Saturday, March 18.
From face painting to balloon animals and inflatable courses, the festivities ran high as many gathered to enjoy the sunny, spring day.
“It was incredible. It was bigger than what we anticipated,” Covenant Life Senior Pastor Jerry Parsons stated. “We want to give back to the community. It had less to do with our church and more to do with bringing our community together.”
Although it was the church’s first block party, the support of Madness Entertainment, the Waxahachie Fire Department, and the Ellis County SPCA were among the participating booths, which all helped to bring in waves of onlookers.
“That’s part of what made it a community event,” Parsons explained. “We wanted to invite the Ellis County Homeschool Association, a couple of businesses like Picasso Dental, and a snow cone truck and food truck – you got to have food,” he laughed, adding that a total of eight organizations helped entertain the party.
With about 50 volunteers from the church’s leadership in blue t-shirts, and around 250 people circulating in attendance throughout the day, many families enjoyed the carnival-like experience.
“So our church really is a ‘multi-grain church.’ We’re multicultural, multi-generational, and multi-denominational,” Parsons described the versatility of his congregation. “We really are just trying to bring people together in the unity of brotherhood, giving the city and community the option to hang out and have good-clean-fun. Sometimes these days it’s hard to find places that you can take your family and not be embarrassed by what’s going on."
Getting a glimpse of the people behind the church, Parsons expressed that the event was well-received among those who stopped by.
“A lot of families came through and just came in and got a taste of who we are and what we do. We’ve gotten a lot of ‘This is incredible, are you going to do it again?’ It was awesome,” Parsons acknowledged.
Not only did the church have fun activities, but it members and the event also helped fill the spiritual needs of those who might need a little prayer.
“Under the tents, we had a sign up that said, ‘Free Prayer,’ with volunteers, in case anyone wanted to be prayed for,” Parson described. “So anybody that would walk up and say, ‘Would you pray for me?’ Or, ‘My aunt is sick. My grandmother isn’t feeling well,’ we would take the time to pray for people right then and there. It was so well received. Just about anybody who came up to the tent had an opportunity to be prayed for. It was a win-win situation for everybody."
As for next year, Parsons is confident in the expansion of the event, as he explained that it would only get better as time goes on.
“I think it’s just going to get bigger every year, because we’ve already had people, vendors, and charities call and say, ‘We’d like to come back.’ This was our first one, so we cut our teeth and learned a few things, and I think next year it’s just going to grow,” Parsons recognized, adding that the reason for the block party won’t change. “It’s really about coming together for a cause. And that cause is – love your neighbor as yourself. We’re really trying to love our neighbors as we love what we do. You don’t have to make up a lot of scriptural preference to love somebody, just love them."
To connect with Covenant Life Church, visit covenantlifenow.com or call (972) 937-5129.
Chelsea Groomer, @ChelseaGroomer