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COG to give away back-to-school backpacks
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Pastor Jeff Armstrong and wife Teresa display backpacks to be given away.
The Smithville Church of God is gearing up for back to school with plans to give away 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to students.The backpacks will be available as a part of the church’s free back to school party on Saturday, Aug 4.From 10-2 that day, the church fellowship hall and parking lot will be filled with inflatables, food and fun for the community with the backpacks being given away on a first-come, first-served basis.Those interested in a backpack are urged to reserve one by registering on the church’s website at, or by calling the church office at 615-597-1419. This giveaway comes as a part of a challenge issued by Pastor Jeff Armstrong for the church to reach out to the community in new ways.Pastor Armstrong instructs his church to follow the model set forth by Christ in His ministry: caring, reaching out and helping those in need.Armstrong notes that Jesus always cared first for the physical and emotional need of those around him, enabling them to focus on spiritual necessities.He further reminds us of the biblical calling for the church to care for widows, orphans, the hungry, the lonely and the lost.The congregation kicked off the challenge by handing out over 2,500 free bottles of water during the Smithville Jamboree and plans to continue over the next year with a series of events for all ages.On Aug. 22 there will be an after-school youth rally for students in grades 7-12 featuring games, free food and giveaways. There will be free transportation from school for the students for an afternoon of fun, and the evening will culminate with a youth-centered service featuring the youth band and drama team and a message by youth pastor Chris Moore.On Aug. 25 the gospel bluegrass band Right on Time will perform at a BBQ dinner to raise funds for the projects of the Women’s Ministries.A $10 contribution will entitle you to a BBQ plate dinner as well as admission to the concert.In September the church will host a revival with Evangelist Rick Cottrell and will follow up this spring’s popular Princess for a Day fundraising event with Cowboy for a Day, which will offer boys a day of wild western fun.October will begin with a Friend’s Day and picnic, and will end with the annual Trunk or Treat Celebration featuring a free hot dog dinner for the entire family, as well as decorated vehicles and lots of candy for the kids.November brings the Community Thanksgiving Service as well as an annual contribution of shoeboxes donated to the international charity, Samaritan’s Purse.There are plans to wrap up the year in December with the annual Christmas walk-through, The Bethlehem Experience.It is the hope of Pastor Armstrong, the staff and congregation that these events will help the community to see Christ and his followers in a new light of caring and love.