St. Rose church bash provides free school supplies to students
Pastor Josh Carter (right) joins Nathan Falco, the discipleship pastor, in giving away a barbecue pit to community members.
The bash, which takes place on Sunday, Aug. 8, is a chance for children around St. Rose to get free school supplies while also enjoying free food, a moon bounce and a slip-n-slide.
The event usually costs between $5,000 to $7,000.
“It’s a pretty awesome event, but it is hard to put on every year because of the cost,” Carter said. “The economy is down right now, which makes it difficult to find sponsors, but because the economy is down the children need these supplies more than ever.”
Carter has been pastor of First Baptist Church in St. Rose since 2008 when he was voted into the position. Though the church’s history dates back to 1959, Carter inherited a church with only 12 adult members.
In two short years, membership has increased dramatically and the church now averages 75 to 90 people at each service.
“We have been growing our church while at the same time loving on the community of St. Rose,” Carter said. “Our motto is for people to join us as we live the amazing life following Jesus.
“This process begins with ourselves, but then we spread it to our families, co-workers and the community.”
The Back 2 School Bash is one major example of this philosophy.
Carter began the event when he arrived as a way to share blessings with the St. Rose community. The first year, more than 100 children showed up at the bash to collect school supplies. Last year, 250 students were on hand and Carter expects the same amount this year.
“We try to give the students a lot of the school supplies they need according to their schools,” he said. “We also offer free book bags to the first 100 students to arrive.”
But the event, which is for elementary students through high school, has grown into a party.
Voodoo Barbecue and Chick-Fil-A both donate food to the gathering and Carter and his church also grill hot dogs and pass out chips. The students can also play on a moon bounce, fly through water on a slip-n-slide, climb a rock wall and get their hair cut for free.
Aside from the bash, church members also spend a lot of time volunteering in the community. Carter recently helped recruit a church from Missouri to join his own volunteers in repainting homes in Elkinsville. First Baptist Church also offers an Angel Food program where a family can spend $30 and receive enough meals to feed four people for a week.
“And the food that is offered through the program is very good,” Carter said. “This month, the program offers steaks, pork chops and chicken nuggets. This is something we believe will help families during this tough economy.”
When Carter arrived at FBC St. Rose, there wasn’t a youth group. So he started the Rock Youth Group which meets every Wednesday at 7 p.m.
“We just do a lot of fun activities,” he said. “We have been to Rock-N-Bowl and we have lock-ins and go to concerts. We also plan on doing a video scavenger hunt.”
The church also offers a children’s group for those from birth to 5 years old, and has a Praise Band that performs at Sunday service.
“We are always looking for good Christian musicians,” Carter said.
Another interesting service offered by the church is Parents Night Out.
“That’s where our parents can drop off their children and go on a date night,” Carter said. “We take the children and order pizzas, play games and watch a movie. It only cost $3 per child to take part.”
Carter hopes all of these services help his members form connections with one another and with the community. In fact, he is asking all his members to make four connections this fall.
The first connection is to God through worship and connection groups, while the second connection is to each other. The third connection is to new guests, while the fourth is to perform missions.
“We want all our members to find a mission activity that they can perform this fall,” Carter said. “For the last two years, my staff and I have made a lot of relationships in the community. I’m really excited now because we have a lot of leaders in our church and I know they are going to build some great relationships.”
Church worship begins every Sunday at 11 a.m. Connection groups meet before worship at 9:45 a.m. On Wednesday nights at 7 p.m., the church’s youth group, children’s group and adult bible study group all meet.
For more information, contact the church at (504) 469-2678 or visit their Web site at www.FBCstrose.org.
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