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2017 Springfest celebrates the holiday with fun and the true meaning of Easter
BY JOYCE NANETTE JOHNSON, Staff Writer
ST. PETERSBURG –Next Saturday, April 15, Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church will hold their 2017 Springfest at the Thomas “Jet” Jackson Center Recreation Center, 1000 28th St. S.
This free event filled with fun, food and entertainment will be a good time for the entire family.
Rev. Shawn Thomas is hopeful that Springfest will have a deeper impact that resonates through the community. As the youth pastor of Mt. Zion’s Children and Youth Ministry (CYM), he hopes the youth will embrace their three lifestyle messages of being spiritually connected, socially conscious and smart and cultured.
Springfest will feature face painting, arts & crafts, relay races, games, bounce houses, food, and of course, an Easter egg hunt. A DJ will fill the air with music and the award-winning Mt. Zion Drum Line and Color Guard and the dynamic Youth Praise team will perform.
At 5 p.m., the event will culminate with the much-anticipated champion basketball game by friendly arch rivals Team Murphy, led by Rev. Louis Murphy, and Team Thomas who will battle it out for the trophy and good natured yearlong bragging rights.
And even though these two are adversaries on the court, Rev. Thomas is thankful for the assistance and support he always receives.
“I always want to give great appreciation to Pastor Murphy,” he stated. “He allows me to be creative.”
There are three distinct ministries under the CYM umbrella that provide Biblical instruction, doctrines and helps build a young person’s relationship with God: Master Pieces (infant to preschool) King’s Young Divine Servants (elementary) and One80 (a progressive teen ministry).
The 2017 Springfest is in partnership with the St. Petersburg Parks and Recreation Department, who provides the use of the rec center for free along with three bounce houses and a donation of 50 to 100 prizes that will be awarded at the Easter egg hunt.
“I appreciate the many that have assisted and worked tirelessly,” Thomas said, noting the invaluable time and effort put in by Michelle Mann, director of activities, and those in administration, Christina Brown and Carol Stephens.
Rev. Thomas’ face broke into a wide grin when asked how the kids that attend CYM would help with the event.
“Doing everything from everything,” he chuckled.
They have approximately 30 kids that will be up at 6 a.m. to helping pack up all materials needed to bring to the festival site, painting eggs, blowing up balloons readying the area for the relay races.
He feels that events such as these serve as a way to bring people to Christ.
“We want this to be a fun, safe event to bring the family to,” he said, noting that this event will help the little ones really understand the Easter Holiday and what it’s really about.
CYM has several signature events along with Springfest that includes Octoberfest, a Mother-Son Tag Football Game, Servefest and a yearly mission trip that this year will take the teens to the tropical shores of Belize in the upcoming months.
“We want to bring the word of Jesus Christ outside of the church walls,” finished Rev. Thomas.