Midtown: Community

Pastor-turned-comedian coming to Raleigh to uplift

Dr. Dennis Swanberg is bringing some “friends” to Raleigh this weekend: Billy Graham, Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne and Barney Fife. Bill Clinton may even come along for the ride.

But Swanberg’s star-studded entourage will not be sitting the audience or waiting him for backstage – they’ll be onstage with him in the form of the many impersonations and voices he incorporates into his Christian comedy routine.

“I am looking forward to coming to North Carolina, and we are going to have a real good time,” Swanberg said.

Swanberg has been making people around him laugh since he was young; he used to do imitations of his teachers and principal as early as elementary school.

After serving as senior pastor for many churches around the country, Swanberg stepped down from the pulpit and now performs in churches, conferences and even has two national television shows that air weekly on TBN and FamNet. In his spare time, he has written seven books, many geared toward men.

Senior Pastor Shannon Scott of Mount Vernon Baptist has seen Swanberg perform several times and spent the evening laughing each time.

“Dr. Swanberg has a way of making you laugh at yourself and leave feeling uplifted,” Scott said.

So Scott jumped at the chance for his congregation and the community to hear “The Swan,” as he often called.

“I love folks to be encouraged after hearing me. A merry heart is like a good medicine, but a broken spirit dries up the bones,” Swanberg said. “I plan to give my merry heart and lots of good medicine so that the folks that come to see me enjoy themselves and enjoy life.”

Swanberg will perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, July 29, at Mount Vernon Baptist Church, 7600 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh. The family-friendly performance is free. For more information, call 919-847-0160 or visit www.mtvernonbaptist.net.

Wakefield UMC volunteers in Appalachia

Thirty youths and adults from Wakefield United Methodist Church went to Inez, Ky., as part of the Appalachia Service Project. Each summer, more than 14,000 people from churches around the country volunteer in Appalachia.

The Raleigh teams helped three homeowners improve their living conditions by replacing a roof, putting on new siding, installing a new interior floor, hanging dry wall and repairing a ceiling.

In addition to manual labor, the volunteers spent time with the families and gave each homeowner a Bible at the end of the week. In September, 12 adults from the church will be heading to Jonesville, Va., to repair homes as part of the Appalachia Service Project to repair homes in the area.

Single Christians Night on the Town

Single Christians of all ages are invited to attend this month’s Night on the Town from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, July 27, at Panera Bread, 4421 Six Forks Road, Raleigh. Night on the Town is a monthly event sponsored by Crossroads Fellowship Church to help single Christians from all denominations meet each other in a safe and fun environment. For more information, visit www.nightonthetown2002.tripod.com.

Garments of Praise clothing swap

Donate gently used women and children’s clothes to the Garments of Praise clothing swap sponsored by Faith Harvest Church in Wake Forest and receive new-to-you clothing in exchange. Anyone can drop off clothing at the church, 4737 Willeva Drive in Wake Forest, near the intersection of Highway 98 and Creedmoor Road. Clothing donations also will be accepted on the day of the swap.

A ticket will be given for each item donated – up to 15 items – and tickets can then be exchanged for clothing at the event. Extra tickets can be earned by volunteering during the event.

The Garments of Praise clothing exchange will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 28, at the church. The church is also asking the community to donate new socks and underwear for local families in need. For more information or to volunteer, email suzanneb@faith-harvest.org or call 919-848-4340.

St. Francis Catholic hoops camp

Rising fourth- through eighth-graders are invited to St. Francis Catholic Church Kids Basketball Camp from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, July 30, to Friday, Aug. 3. Both new and experienced players are encouraged to attend. The cost is $75 for parishioners and $90 for nonparishioners. For more information or to register, visit www.stfrancisraleigh.org or call 919-847-8205.

First Cosmopolitan Baptist supper

First Cosmopolitan Baptist Church will be serving a plate lunch starting at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 3, at the church, 1515 Crosslink Road, Raleigh. The menu includes fish, chicken, boiled potatoes, slaw, green beans, bread, drink and dessert with prices ranging from $4.50 to $10 per plate. All proceeds from the church supper will benefit the W.B. Lewis Gospel Choir. For more information, visit www.firstcosmopolitan.org or call 919-833-3283.