Berachah Church, which calls itself “a place of blessing,” is becoming known for throwing large community parties.
On Sunday night, the church will be the site for Ignite, a free community event that will feature food trucks, bounce houses, a car show, 24-hour pickleball marathon and will end with a fireworks show choreographed to music
The event is open to the public and everything is free except for the items sold at the food trucks, said Berachah Pastor Lamar Ferrell. He said Ignite lines up with one of the church’s goals: Hope for a healthy and happy community.
Berachah hosted Hope Over Heroin this year, and when the Middletown Division of Police sponsored its annual National Night Out this month, it was held in the grassy area between Berachah Church and Lefferson Park. The crowds at the two events have been estimated at 7,000.
“We have the property that God gave us and we want to share it,” Ferrell said. “Ultimately, we always want to be a blessing. God has given us much.”
The church decided to host the event as a way to celebrate the end of summer and give residents an inexpensive entertainment option over Labor Day weekend, he said.
“Everyone will have an opportunity to have fun,” the pastor said. “It will be a great event.”
The pickleball marathon runs from noon Sunday to noon Monday at Lefferson Park. There is a minimum donation of $15 to play, and proceeds will go toward the building of the splash pad at Elley’s Hope Playground, named in honor of Elley Ferrell, who was born with spina bifida. There is no formal registration.
Ferrell believes Ignite may also serve as a selling point for Berachah, which purchased and renovated the former Verity Middle School building. He hopes people who attend Ignite may be sparked to attend church services there.
“We want to encourage people that may not have a home to find a home,” he said.
Ferrell hopes that Ignite becomes a yearly event and will have the staying power of All American Weekend, a Fourth of July celebration that was held at Middletown High School for more than 20 years.
What does Ferrell see when he thinks of Ignite?
“I see a fuse being light,” he said. “I see the ‘Mission Impossible’ fuse. We want to continue seeing the mission where we bring light to as many people as possible.”