Fun Day returns to Mount Olive
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- They used to put it on every year.
But for the last three to four years, Fun Day has not been on the Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church's schedule of annual events -- for no other reason than that those who used to organize the event got older, as did their children, said church members who gathered at the church on Wednesday afternoon.
The church is located on Mulder Drive off Carberry Road in Niles.
But the congregation, in an effort to make themselves more visible in the community, are putting on Fun Day again.
Fun Day will include parades, Christian music, free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks; a bouncing gym and games for the children; a clothes giveaway and three-on-three basketball.
The event is scheduled for Saturday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m at the Mount Olive Church parking lot at 2262 Mulder Drive in Niles.
Taylor said there has been some negative focus on the church lately, perhaps because the community feels that the church is not doing enough in times when many people are unemployed.
And also, perhaps, because the community feels the church didn't step up immediately after the civil unrest incident in Benton Harbor earlier this year, he said.
Taylor thinks the event is significant because it gives the community an opportunity to connect with the church.
Pastor Fletcher McAfee is glad to see the event that he used to help organize is back.
But like Taylor, he sees the event as an important tool to bring the church closer to the community and vice versa.
Twenty-five to 30 volunteers have been involved in the preparations leading up to the event, which organizers hope will attract people not only from Hatcherville and Niles, but also from Buchanan, Benton Harbor and other surrounding towns.
The activities, which are for both young and old, should cater for the entire family.
Deacon Sherwood Cross was also at Mount Olive Baptist church on Wednesday afternoon.
He remembers when the church used to have the Fun Day events each year.
Cross said in the past, Fun Day would bring together families who simply enjoyed each others activities and took part in the activities offered.
Committee members are passing out flyers about the event and those who want more information can call 269-684-0442.