By Woodrow Polston
There was a fair-sized crowd that turned out for the 2nd Annual Fall Festival at New Life Tabernacle on Saturday. Families, friends and visitors were spread out across the church grounds engaging in a variety of activities. Youth Leader Terry Waters said one could not ask for a better day for the occasion.
“The weather is just perfect today,” said Waters. “Last year it was much cooler and breezy, and a lot of us were wearing coats during the first fall festival. We have a lot of new faces here today for the event. We are cooking chili, nachos and a variety of other foods that are all available at no charge for the festival. We have a cake walk taking place and some other activities that we will be doing throughout the day,” he added.
Waters said that the church has been welcoming visitors from various towns in the Audrain and Pike County areas. He attributes the surge in guests at the church to an outreach effort that was recently adopted.
“We have been going out in teams every Saturday to Mexico, Laddonia, Farber, Bowling Green and Louisiana. We knock on doors, hand out flyers and invite people to come and experience our church services. We keep a map to track the area that we have already visited and we keep in touch with those who have expressed interest in the church,” said Waters.
After the cake walk, there was a pie eating contest on the schedule later in the day. Other activities included apple dipping, crafts, bounce houses, a photo booth and other games. Some of the youths took to the basketball court for a game after eating lunch. Waters said that the events organized by the church have been a success.
“We are pleased with the turnout for the events that we have hosted in the past year. We want to continue to offer these events free to the public. It really is a great opportunity to reach out to the community and be involved. The next thing that we have planned is our Thanksgiving meal and then we will prepare for our annual Christmas play. After the first of the year, we will be doing a chili cook-off,” said Waters.
According to their Facebook page, New Life Tabernacle is a culturally and ethnically diverse church that congregates to experience the love of Jesus Christ. They are located at 908 U.S. Hwy. 54 in Vandalia. Service times are Sunday at 10:30 a.m., and 6:30 p.m., and on Wednesdays at 7:30 p.m.