Union Baptist Church, an inner-city congregation, is harking back to a trend popular on the public scene years ago by hosting a tent revival.
The big top is going up this week in the church parking lot at 904 N. Roxboro St. with services set at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
Don’t expect this to be the kind of preaching often associated with tent meetings. No hell fire and damnation and no high emotional begging and pleading for folks to get right with God before it is too late.
Do expect “spiritual nourishment and spiritual songs,” said Amelia Roberts-Lewis at the church.
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“We desire that people come into a spiritual relationship with a loving God and have a sense of family,” she said. “We want to be a refuge and haven for people who are in need and hurting.”
The Union Baptist congregation is led by the Rev. Dr. Kenneth Hammond, pastor. It is known for its outreach into the community and has a very diverse membership, including people from all socio-economic levels, including doctors and professors as well as persons recovering from substance addictions, persons who have been homeless, ex-gang members.
“We are interested in meeting people where they are and developing relationships instead of pleading or begging people to join the church,” Amelia said. “Spiritual nourishment also means that we may just ask folks if there are any needs that we can pray for. Are they troubled or worried about something we can lift before God.”
Tents as well as brush arbors are a part of church history in America and reflect a time when there were few church buildings and folks gathered to hear a preacher who was passing through. In the Methodist tradition, these itinerant preachers were called circuit riders.
The annual Back to School Party and backpack give-away begins at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 19, at the Durham Rescue Mission, 1201 E. Main St.
With assistance from GSK, the mission will host the fun-filled event where more than 500 volunteers, the mission staff and residents will serve 10,000 free hot dogs, host carnival games with prizes, give away 13,000 items of free clothing and 1,500 free bags of groceries, plus 5,000 free backpacks filled with school supplies for all students who attend with a parent or guardian.
The Rescue Mission is the oldest shelter in the city and was recently rated by Charity Navigator as the No. 1 homeless services provider in North and South Carolina.
Trinity United Methodist Church, 215 N. Church St., has invited college and graduate students to connect with the downtown community at a Faithful Service Event on Sunday, following the regular 11 a.m. worship service.
Lunch will be hosted by Trinity Young Adults and a brief service project will be conducted. The group will assemble hygiene kits for homeless persons in the downtown community in partnership with the Open Table Ministry, housed at the church.
RSVP for lunch by Friday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jews, Muslims and Christians will gather to talk about world peace at an upcoming Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska in the mountains of North Carolina Nov. 12-15. The event has a Sept. 1 early registration deadline.
The conference titled “Longing for Peace/Exploring the Heart of God,” will feature three keynote speakers and focus on the spiritual roots and foundations that support the search for peace in the three Abrahamic faith traditions: Judaism, Islam and Christianity.
Speakers include the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London and dean of Duke University Chapel and research professor of Christian ethics at Duke Divinity School from 2005-2012.
Other speakers are Rabia Terri Harris, founder of the Muslim Peace Fellowship in Stony Point, N.Y. She is an essayist, editor and peace activist.
Also Rabbi Or Rose, founding director of the Center for Global Judaism at Hebrew College in Newton Centre, Mass., a writer and social activist.
Also Yuval Ron, who is an artist, composer, educator, peace activist and record producer. The Yuval Ron Ensemble, an internationally recognized music and dance group, has been involved in creating musical bridges between people of the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.
Early registration is recommended. Registration is $120 before Sept. 1 and $145 after that. Students may attend for $60. Register at http://www.lakejunaluska.com/peaceor by calling 828-454-6682.
The bi-annual Health Fair, sponsored by First Calvary Baptist Church, will be held from10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at the Community Family Life and Recreation Center at Lyon Park, 1309 Halley St.
Free activities include blood pressure screening, glucose/diabetes screening, hearing screening and cholesterol and vision testing.
Also on the program is line dancing and an appearance by Senior Majestic Angels, Calvary’s Anointed Mime Ministry.
This is a free event open to all.
A concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at the church, 1311 Morehead Ave., will feature the Johnson C. Smith University Alumni Gospel Expo Choir. Also featured will be 100 Men in Black and the St. John AME Male Chorus and others.
The passing scene
First Presbyterian Church, 304 E. Main St., one of the city’s historic downtown churches that decided to stay put back in the 1960s when churches and people were flocking to the suburbs, has witnessed trends coming and going over the years.
As the city’s downtown continues its evolution, there has been an uptick in bicyclists who are commuting to work and riding to the ballpark.
This trend has prompted the church to install bike racks outside the rear entry doors of the foyer, next to the day school building. The loop racks make it easy to lock up a bike and helmet.
Presbyterians can now join the ranks of bike riders and bike to church. The perks are getting great exercise, saving fuel and reducing emissions.
The church is located at the corner of Main and Roxboro streets.
Contact Flo Johnston at email@example.com or call 910-361-4135.