Zion Memorial Missionary Baptist Church, 101 N. Dunleith Ave., held its annual Friends, Family and Community weekend celebration last Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 29-30.
Zion Memorial has been holding this annual event for nearly two decades. The Rev. Randell Cain Jr., Zion Memorial senior pastor, says this year they wanted to focus more on the members of the surrounding community during the annual celebration.
“The focus of it initially was more so like a reunion type of event here,” said Cain. “As I became pastor of the church back in April of 2017, God put on my heart as to we need to make a decision whether we were going to be a church in the community, or a community church.”
“Where God led us was ,we are here, so we need to be a community church. It doesn’t make sense for the bulk of the members to be on the other side of town and come here for a Sunday or Wednesday experience. We want to have a chance to make a positive impact on and with the community.”
The festivities on Saturday included fun activities for the youth, singing, dancing, food, bingo and even a table set up for people to register to vote. The Sunday service included a community choir where members of the surrounding area joined with the choir of Zion Memorial to perform during the service.
“We want to make it very clear that we are a community church and part of that means we have to go across the street sometimes to walk some people back across the street with us,” Cain continued.
Cain was formerly an associate pastor with Zion Memorial before taking on the senior pastor duties. Previously he was heavily involved with the planning of the Friends and Family weekend. He says he just wants to see the event continue to grow.
“The thing about Zion Memorial is this: It is a church with a big heart for love and a big heart for service,” he said. “What I would like to say is that I have been a facilitator of the service, but as you can see there are many hands that are doing the work.”
Cain says he is overjoyed to be the leader of a congregation that is for the community instead of just in the community. He says, “This is what the church is supposed to be about.
“What I love about what is happening here at Zion Memorial, is a spirit of engagement and a desire for our church to do better,” he said.
Kenny Inzar, event co-chairman, says it was good to see the event come together once they had a chance to get everything together. He said the fellowship of the event is the most important thing for him.
“I would like to do this every day to be honest,” said Inzar. “It feels good because this is a growing church and we are here for the community.”