Niles church to host Fall In Love With Jesus Harvest Festival

Published 3:24 pm Monday, October 18, 2021

NILES — A local church is offering Niles families a safe way to celebrate Halloween.

I Care Church will be hosting its Fall in Love With Jesus Harvest Festival from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 31 at Eastside Park. 

“My wife came up with the idea ‘fall’ in love with Jesus to tie into the fall season,” said I Care Church founder and senior pastor Andre Love. “Halloween is on a Sunday anyway, so our 3 o’clock service we would have in our building will become this outdoor event.”

The free event will feature worship, music, food, games as well as the most important aspect of Halloween festivities.

“We’re trying to have about 500 pounds of candy out there,” he said. “There will be hot dogs, free pop and water. We’re actually gonna have worship service to start it off and then my team is putting games together and different things of that nature.”

A Niles native, Love founded I Care Church,1928 Bertrand Road, last year and has been a pastor for 17 years. After hosting two successful community events in recent months, Love and his ministry decided to host a positive, safe event for families to attend.

“We wanted to come out one more time and what better time to come out than October 31 right before trick or treating starts,” Love said. “Where I was living before coming back to Niles, there were areas that you could go trick or treating that were safe and didn’t require you to go to everybody’s house. Kids and their families will be able to come out and have a good time.”

In addition to his pastoral duties, Love is also an assistant coach for Niles High School’s varsity basketball team and works with the track teams at both Ring Lardner Middle School and Niles High. A former Niles standout in both basketball and track, Love uses coaching and pastoring as tools to mentor and encourage the local youth.

“I just enjoy being able to have the opportunity for God to allow me to come back and be able to give back to the community,” he said. “I’m seeing these guys change a lot. Some of them don’t have a father, some don’t have big brothers and some of them have found themselves being in the street and having a street mentality. So my job and my responsibility for this area is to shift the mindsets of not only our young men and young women but all children and all young people. Everyone is welcome at I Care Church.”

Love and his team are looking forward to combining faith and family fun on Halloween.

“I hope that the community will come out and be engaged and involved,” Love said. “We are working hard to make this the best event it can be. I haven’t seen anything, like what I’m trying to do with this event. Most people do trunk-or-treats, but we’re trying to do something that we haven’t seen down here, at least not on the level that we’re doing it on.”