Pictured Above: Attendees had a great time at the Back to School Block Party.
LYNN HAVEN–It’s a time of great anticipation and also great expense.
In the days leading up to a new school year, students eagerly anticipate the hours filled with learning and being with their friends. At the same time, families often experience financial strain with the need to purchase new clothes, shoes and school supplies.
Family of God Baptist Church in Lynn Haven, pastored by C. Dwight Woods, strives to ensure each school year gets off to a great start for children and parents by hosting a block party and giving away backpacks filled with school supplies.
During the event this year, the church distributed nearly 400 backpacks. “As a teacher, I’m very passionate about this ministry because I know what it’s like for students to have what they need for school,” said Charita Collier, event organizer.
“I’m happy we are able to give back and set the students up for success while helping out the parents.”
The Bay County Sheriff’s Office supported the event by cooking hotdogs and supplying drinks. Other community partners included Impact Promotions, which donated school supplies, and local minister Glenn Milner, who offered free haircuts for the boys.
Traveling to help serve, Houston First Baptist Church’s mission team of about 80 volunteers, mostly youth and college students, brought backpacks, school supplies and bounce houses for the event. Volunteers offered to pray with the nearly 500 attendees while also leading sack races, playing cornhole and providing arts and crafts activities for the children.
For many years, First Baptist has been faithful to provide a mission team to help in schools and different churches in the area. In addition to volunteering at the block party this year, the mission team cleaned out modules, currently used by Family of God Baptist Church, in preparation for breaking ground this fall on a new sanctuary.
Family of God Baptist Church had two locations that were both demolished by Hurricane Michael in 2018. The church currently meets for worship at the Northwest Coast Baptist Association Missions Center in Lynn Haven.
After the storm, the church has remained strong and maintained a presence in the community, with the 2023 block party at Daffin Park being the biggest event since the hurricane devastation.
“We are planning on 2024 being even bigger,” said Collier. “Our community partners are committed to helping, and we are seeking more partners so this can continue as a yearly community event.”