NEWBERRY — In celebration of the re-opening of the College Street Bridge, Bethlehem Baptist Church, located right next to the bridge, held a celebration on Saturday for the community.
“Today is about fellowship, bridging the gaps between the church and the community, and we just want you to have a good time,” said Fred Smith, pastor of Bethlehem. “We are looking to have a great time, and we just want you to enjoy yourself.”
Deaconesses Patricia Caldwell and Mattie Dillon were the co-chairs for the Bridge Celebration Committee. Dillon said as they planned Saturday’s program there were five areas they focused on.
“Our goals were to build around family, friends, fellowship, fun and food,” she said. “To help reach our goal, we have at the front, we have vendors. We also have some greeters who will be people who will meet you and not only will they talk to you in fellowship, but they also have some souvenirs that they will be giving you.”
Dillon encouraged guests to visit with each of the vendors, who she said came from near and far. Their goal was to give out information about family health and other types of safety issues that would be helpful to community members. For the music lovers, the church also had their very own DJ Leon to entertain guests.
“Our church parking lot is filled with lots of games and prizes for all ages, we are going to have a bean toss, and a variety of things. On tone of that, for our young children, we have a bounce house,” Dillon said. “After we have done all of the activities and talked with all the people, we have food free to all. The food will be hot dogs with homemade chili, chips, beverages and some of the most delicious cookies.”
Caldwell said the reality of the church is in its outreach to people, and the church members can strengthen this outreach immeasurably by establishing strong personal contacts with community neighbors, businesses, professional people and officials.
“Having said that, we gather here today with community friends, the re-opening of the College Street Bridge. The original bridge was built in 1930, the new bridge has wider sidewalks, a solid structure, which would hold up through any flooding. With the re-opening of the bridge people can return to their normal traffic pattern, and easy access to the church and to the businesses,” she said. “From Rev. Smith and the Bethlehem Baptist Church family, we are happy to share with you, our neighbors, an afternoon filled with fun, food and fellowship.”
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.