Baseball, the nation’s favorite pastime, was more than a game for one North Miami congregation when two new Christian believers were added to the Kingdom of God.
Christ Centered Church, a church plant in North Miami, sponsored a Family Day Sunday at Marlins Park before the Miami Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies game Aug. 25
By the time the last pitch was thrown, the congregation saw two people make professions of faith and three rededicate their lives to the Lord.
“So many people who don’t come to our church came out and we got to meet our members’ cousins and brothers and friends,” said pastor Derek Allen. “It was a really good family time that turned into a reach-out day.”
The event drew more than 200 people including 40 first time guests. They met at The 5th Base, an air conditioned space located near the park’s West Plaza, just outside the stadium.
A game of Family Feud kicked off festivities, followed by a time of worship and a Gospel message from Ephesians 2:1-8 by pastor Erik Cummings of New Life Baptist Church.
After the worship service the Christ Centered Kids Choir opened the game singing the National Anthem on the field. Then the church family and their guests enjoyed the game with prime seating behind first base.Allen said the event was a win for the congregation and would be easy for other churches to replicate.
The church had been planning the day since May with the hopes of creating an event where people could have fun and get to know each other, he explained. The day was set up through the Marlins Park group sales department.
“The representative from the Marlins Park came to our staff meeting and walked us through different things we had to do,” said Allen. “We also met with event staff and the person specifically assigned to faith-based community.”
In the weeks leading up to the event, the church family sold tickets for $5 each, a total bargain price for first base line seats.
“Baseball is fun whether you’re into it or not,” said Allen. “And it’s a slow-paced game so you don’t feel like you’re missing out if you go get a hot dog or talk to someone.”