The Spirit Festival was held in Abbeville.
Easter Spirit celebrated in Abbeville Community
Several Church communities came together to celebrate Abbeville's first Spirit Fest at the Christian Service Center.
Several hundred people with many faith backgrounds and folks from the local neighborhood came together to honor God and one another during Spirit Fest. New Life Church, Harvest Time, St. Mary Magdalen, St. Theresa's, First Holy Ghost, Lighthouse Ministries, Family Missions Company, St. Paul's Episcopal Church, United Methodist Church and Pleasant Green Baptist Church were all present and worked together for the ecumenical event.
For the last month, participating churches collected food in support of the Christian Service Center. Churches were invited to collect a particular item in order to provide a special gift bag to give away for the event. For example, Harvest Time collected hundreds of cans of spaghetti sauce, St. Paul's and United Methodist Church collected pasta, Pleasant Green Baptist Church collected desserts and several other churches and schools collected canned vegetables. On the days leading up to Spirit Fest, the food was delivered to the Christian Service Center and on Saturday morning, over 100 volunteers from a dozen faith communities gathered and assembled bags of food to give away to those in need. Over 400 bags of food were assembled and given away within the last week, due to the teamwork and commitment of local faith communities.
"The mission of the Christian Service Center is the 'Feed the Body, Mind and Spirit with Love'. In this event, our goal was to do just that. We had a ecumenical prayer team, we provided resources to empower the community for a better life and we offered food for the body as well. We plan on this being an annual event" said Director of Operations, Marcelo Davis.
John Listi, whose parents founded the Christian Service Center forty years ago said, "Having been raised on that property and knowing that it had always been used to serve the Lord and glorify God, it was amazing to see the Christian community come together across racial and denominational boundaries to praise God together and love one another in the spirit of unity."
Frank Summers, Catholic missionary and founder of Family Missions Company added, "It was the first time I have ever seen so many denominations all come together in this area for the common purpose of serving the poor and honoring God".
Pastor Lane Payne from New Life Church who helped to plan the event was filled with optimism as he shared, "I am thankful to the leadership of the Catholic Church for opening the opportunity to us to join with them in bringing Jesus to our Community. I am so looking forward to working together with the entire Body of Christ moving forward."
Other church leaders and pastors expressed great enthusiasm for the new momentum to serve the community in a unified effort. "I am so deeply thankful for the uniting of so many different churches and groups to serve the needs present in this community. Spirit Fest was Spirit-filled as we shared together the love of God, especially for those in need." says Fr. Christopher Heying from St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Reverend Osborne Taylor from NAACP shared "The Spirit Fest was phenomenal. There was such a sweet Spirit of peace and togetherness. I believe Heaven was well pleased."
Pastor Michael Wight from Pleasant Green Baptist Church said,
"I was so blessed to be a part of this, it was so wonderful to see everyone working together for a common good. We need more opportunities like this for our Abbeville Community."
Spirit Fest was an awesome time of God's people coming together under one banner. The Love of God, through Jesus Christ His Son, Vermilion Parish will never be the same after this beautiful show of unity in the Body of Christ, said Pastor Steve Delino from Harvest Time.
"We hope this is the beginning of a stronger team effort for our community to come together and 'Feed the Body, Mind and Spirit with Love.' added Marcelo Davis. "Our next focus will be on serving together as a united community for a teen service day on July 29th, 2017. We will keep the community informed as we move forward.
The Christian Service Center would like to thank all the pastors, volunteers and individuals who contributed to making the event a success. Sponsors include Gulf Coast Bank, Abbeville General, Vermilion Parish School Board, Vermilion Interact Club.