Local churches host weekend of pizza and praise

Local churches host weekend of pizza and praiseBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

If you’re struggling with addiction, depression or disappointment – or if you’re just intrigued by an offer of free pizza – you may be interested in the IWV Community Crusade’s family weekend event “God’s Love Unleashed,” beginning Friday, Feb. 7, at the Kerr McGee Center.

This three-day event features guest speaker Dr. Shawn Beaty and has something for all ages including free food, free entertainment and a worship service each night.

“This event is definitely catering more to the younger demographic, with a focus on teenagers on Friday night,” said Pastor Bill Logan of Immanuel Baptist Church. “And the focus will be on young families on Saturday and Sunday night. But Shawn will be addressing the issue of suffering and the ‘why?’ questions that everybody has for God.”

Logan said that faith and worship are to be at the center of the event. “This is an evangelistic outreach to proclaim the name of Christ and communicate to our community that Jesus is the hope and the answer to the issues that they have in life,” he said. But he also wanted to make it clear that the event was open to everybody, particularly those who may be hesitant to attend “churchy” events.

“I would say that we all struggle with the same things – we experience the same struggles in life,” said Logan. “But we believe that God’s word has the answers to the issues you’re struggling with. Whether or not you’re a believer or you attend church, you’ll be able to find this to be something you can relate to.”

And if that’s not enough to get the community interested, he’s hoping that the prospect of 135 large pizzas and a free comedian might.

“We hope to feed about 400 teenagers Friday night,” said Logan. “We want to see them devour 135 pizzas in 30 minutes. Otherwise we’re going to have a lot of pizza leftover.” Friday’s event will also feature speaker and comedian John Felts at 4 p.m.

The IWV Community Crusade is a partnership of more than 20 local churches who gathered together to serve the community.

“I sure would like to see this be an annual event,” said Logan. “I’ve been here for almost 22 years now and I’ve not seen the churches cooperate for something like this on this scale. It would really make a big impression on our community. We want Ridgecrest to know that the churches care about people and we want to minister to them.”

Activities begin each day with free food at 4 p.m. and a service lead by Beaty at 5 p.m. Separate programs will be available for children in preschool-3rd grade as well as a “listening room” where parents can be with their infants and toddlers while listening to an audio stream of the service.

Find IWV Community Crusade on Facebook or visit godsloveunleashed.org for more information.

Pictured: Representatives from 22 different churches gather to plan “God’s Love Unleashed,” a three-day family weekend event beginning Friday, Feb. 7. — Courtesy photo

Story First Published: 2020-02-06