Church volunteers partner with Parks & Rec to ‘Serve’
Published 9:53 am Tuesday, June 9, 2015
A group of about 70 volunteers rolled up their sleeves and got dirty Saturday afternoon as they worked to make improvements at several city park locations.
The volunteers came from Hunter First Baptist Church as part of a partnership with the Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Department.
“This is our Friends of the Park Program,” Elizabethton Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mains said. “ We are so fortunate to have churches investing in us and in the community. It’s so exciting.”
On Saturday, volunteers from the church did everything from painting and landscaping to planting trees and picking up litter, Mains said.
“It is spread out all through the park system,” he said, adding volunteers were at Joe O’Brien Field, Riverside Park, Douglas Park, Edwards Island Park, along the Mill Race and along the Linear Path.
For the church members, the day’s activities were about more than helping to give the parks a fresh face.
“We are using the platform of an event to help encourage a lifestyle,” said Steve Nauman, family pastor at Hunter First Baptist.
Hunter First Baptist has done community service events before through their student ministry program and has now shared the idea with their family ministry program. The idea behind the program is to promote service to the community, Nauman said.
“This is what Christians should be doing,” he said. “They should be out helping and serving people and showing them the love of Christ.”
About 70 volunteers of all ages signed up for the new ministry outreach, Nauman said.
The goal, he said, is to get everyone involved in serving the community, not just for special events but as part of their every day life.
Just as Hunter First Baptist invited other churches to join in their student ministry outreachprogram, the family ministry – which they call “Serve” – is open for other churches as well, Nauman said.