SEAGROVE, N.C. (BP)–The machine whirred as it crushed ice into perfect shavings, ideal for a snow cone on a hot day. As Jerry King poured the sugary cherry syrup over the icy mound, he called out to those nearby: “Snow cones, popcorn, balloons!”
Behind him, screams of excitement emanated from the Jupiter Jump, and the smell of the grill wafted from the concession stand. A line of eager children formed in front of him as King poured ice into the mouth of the shaver, while keeping a running commentary going that kept the youngsters giggling.
King was one of about 100 volunteers from seven area churches and across the nation who participated in a Crossover Triad event June 10 at Clay Presnell Park in Seagrove, N.C.
The Seagrove event shimmered with attractions for children and adults alike. Parking attendants arrived at 9 a.m. to prepare for the anticipated crowd of 1,000, officials said.
Australian-born Keith Paterson donned his orange vest to direct cars into one of the two lots.
“I needed a change of lifestyle,” said Paterson, his Aussie accent providing a bit of spark on a muggy, nearly cloud-free Saturday. “Here, religion is the forefront of peoples’ lives, a center-point of society, which is something to celebrate.”
Integrating the Gospel into activities was an important part of the churches’ goals.
During the Seagrove block party, children and teenagers were given the opportunity to participate in sports clinics that included basketball at the Seagrove school gym and softball and soccer at the park.
The clinics covered the basics of the sports, while providing fun and exercise for participants. Special guest Jessica Sell, guard for the University of North Carolina’s women’s basketball team, told listeners about being a Christian athlete and the challenges that come with it.
“The ultimate benefit is to be able to share the Gospel,” said Howard McNeill, pastor of Maple Springs Baptist Church in Seagrove. He spent the day in a golf cart checking on volunteers and taxiing the elderly up and down a winding dirt road that connected the park entrance to the baseball diamond and attractions. “We are trying to add to the Kingdom, not just the church.”
Courtney Willey, a journalism student at Campbell University in North Carolina, is part of the Collegiate Journalism Conference sponsored by Baptist Press and associated with an internship through Campbell University.