by Stan Parker
LANSING, MI – Over the past twenty years the Potter/Walsh neighborhood has grown accustomed to having a Neighborhood Block Party each July presented by Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. Given the COVID-19 pandemic the neighborhood was feeling very sad and hopeless thinking the Neighborhood Block Party was not going to exist this year. However, Pastor Stan Parker and a team begin to pray to ask for God’s guidance. The team wanted to do something for the community, but was not sure what could be done given the various Executive Orders issued by the Governor. The team was concerned about the safety for the neighborhood.
After two weeks of praying, God delivered an answer to the team. The Lord made it clear the traditional Praise in the Park Block Party was not a wise decision for this year. Instead the Lord directed to have the event on a different scale, with masks and social distancing. Out of prayer and fasting Praise and Serve Block Party was born. The team decided to praise God with some singing and handing out tracks while other service functions were going on.
Pastor Parker contacted the Local Health Department to secure free COVID-19 testing at Walsh Park. Then the Health Department contacted Meijer’s Food Store to partner to give out gift cards and other goodies. Arrangements were made to have free chair massages to ease some of the stress due to the COVID-19. Another partner, the Ladies of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, sponsored screening for high blood pressure.
The Praise and Serve Block Party was held on July 11, with wearing of masks and practicing social distancing along with free bagged lunches. The Prayer Team was able to engage in gospel conversations with some of the individuals, and extend information on the church services of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church. The next day 31 additional people viewed Facebook Live with Faith Fellowship. Six individuals contacted the church to ask for additional information.
The birth of Praise and Serve has also increased the faith of the prayer team even in the midst of the COVID-19. The event served to confirm that God is still in charge. The Potter Walsh Neighborhood Association, thanked the Faith Fellowship for “Walking by Faith and not by Sight”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Stan Parker is the Pastor of Faith Fellowship Baptist Church in Lansing Michigan. He is the current President of the Michigan African American Fellowship. He is married to First Lady Char Parker.