Back to School Bash church reflects on growth of program over past decade

With the Back to School Bash now incorporating shuttle services using Carter County buses from four different schools, as well as vaccinations from the Carter County Health Department, Pastor Brandon Young said the program’s continued growth is overwhelming.

“It is overwhelming how God has blessed this,” Young said. “It is not about us. It is about lifting up what Jesus is.”

Young is pastor of Harmony Freewill Baptist Church, the host of the Back to School Bash ministry for the past 11 years. Since the program started, the program has grown from a single-church endeavor to incorporating the bulk of Carter County itself.

The bash itself, which always takes place on the last Saturday of July, brings in thousands of children and parents each year.

“We raise $25,000 for all 11 years,” he said.

This level of support and success, he said, comes in part from his church community.

“I have one of the most giving churches in this area,” he said. “Anything I bring to them, they have never turned me down.”

He said several churches and businesses have stepped up to lend dedicated financial support each year, and Harmony itself hosts between six and eight fundraisers a year in order to meet the $25,000 goal.

“If I had a vision, I pray we find 20 churches dedicated to this ministry,” Young said.

With those 20, he said the $25,000 would come from those dedicated contributions, and the need for the multiple fundraisers would decrease, easing the workload from his congregation.

“The hardest part is doing the fundraisers every year,” he said. “It is a lot of work to ask for your church.”

Despite that workload, Young said the bash is a success every year, bringing families from across the county.

“We want every child to be able to come and have a wonderful day before the school year and not worry about the money,” Young said.

For those looking to volunteer more than financially to the bash, Young said Harmony is hosting a volunteer training session at 7 p.m. Friday, July 26. Those who attend can buy a staff T-shirt for $10, a cost that will go towards the bash. The training will take roughly 45 minutes.

“They can come by and sign up to be a volunteer,” Young said.

Local news

CCSO, TSA warn of scam calls claiming to solicit funds for sheriff’s association

Local news

Elizabethton High School FFA places 2nd in Regional Envirothon competition

Arrests

Recent arrests made by Carter County Sheriff’s Office

Local news

Elizabethton/Carter County Animal Shelter overrun with dogs

Arrests

JCPD arrests Spartanburg man in drug bust

Local news

Milligan students honored at Awards Convocation

Local news

Kathy Campbell and Mike Nidiffer join Renea Jones’s campaign team

Local news

Committee recommends hiring accounting firm to help Finance Department

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Elizabethton Choral Club presents spring concert at First Baptist

Community

UHS Class of ’64 enjoys reunion

Community

Watts Dance Showcase Dancers present ‘Good Man Charlie Brown, Other Dances’ Sunday

Local news

Local animal lover donates $10,000 to Elizabethton Spay & Neuter Clinic

Arrests

Elizabethton Police Department reports series of arrests in recent weeks

Local news

Happy Valley Elementary releases fourth grade honor roll for third nine weeks

Church News

Church Briefs

Local news

Spring choral concert scheduled Sunday at EHS Gymnasium

Church News

Benefit lunch for Wayne Singleton scheduled Sunday at Blue Springs

Local news

TN poised to expand access to opioid treatment at community health centers

Local news

Strawberry season is here in Tennessee

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested on child abuse and neglect charges

Church News

Why is God full of truthfulness?

Local news

Dance, dine, and discover at ETSU’s Corazón Latino Festival

Local news

County students see dramatic portrayal of prom night fatalities