• 79°

Churches offer trick-or-treat alternatives

While many under the umbrella of Christendom debate just what role, if any, church-goers should play in Halloween, a number of local churches are offering seasonal activities to children in their respective communities.

Among those groups is the First Baptist Church of Linden. The FBC will host its annual Fall Festival Halloween night, Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m.

“We have Trunk or Treat,” event organizer Charlotte Barkley said of one of the most popular features of the annual event. “We have games, inflatables, cake walk and, of course, we have food.”

While the Trunk or Treat feature gets a lot of attention before the festival due in large part to the work put into setting up the event, attending children often get distracted by other options .

“Sometimes they forget about going to get their candy,” Barkley said.

While the event coincides with Halloween, it does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of the holiday by FBC. Rather, that group’s focus is on serving the children of the community in any form it can find.

“We have Fall Festival as an alternative to trick-or-treating,” Barkley said. “We try to have everything in a safe atmosphere and a Christian environment. It is an alternative as opposed to going to neighborhoods they don’t know.”

While the Linden FBC’s Fall Festival offers candy and plenty of Halloween-themed fun, the First Baptist Church of Demopolis will host its own variation of the event that will be just a little different.

“We are going to do kind of a county fair type thing the afternoon of the 28th,” Betsy Stephens, organizer of the Demopolis FBC, said. “The buses will pick the children up from school.”

Children attending the Demopolis FBC event will be treated to dinner at 5 p.m. before dismissing at 5:30.

In the time preceding that, they will be afforded an opportunity to enjoy a seasonal, if not celebratory, atmosphere.

“We’re hoping to have some animals and a petting zoo type thing,” Stephens said. “It’s not a trick-or-treat type of thing. They just get so much stuff at Halloween. This is, maybe, just a little break from all the candy and dressing up.”

The event at Demopolis FBC will focus primarily on the students of the group’s Weekday Early Education School.

“We’ll send some stuff home with the ones that come to church either next Wednesday or the Wednesday after,” Stephens said of information availability regarding the event.

Other events in the area that weekend include the annual Fun Night at Christian Chapel Baptist that is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Halloween night.

“They just come and enjoy the games that we have set up in the life center,” Sheila Curry said. “It’s not really celebrating Halloween, it’s just giving the kids something to do on that night. We don’t ask them to wear costumes, but if they do we welcome them to come as well. Our goal is to keep the kids off the street and away from trick-or-treating and give them a safe place to come and have fun and fellowship.”

By Jeremy D. Smithnews@demopolistimes.com

While many under the umbrella of Christendom debate just what role, if any, church-goers should play in Halloween, a number of local churches are offering seasonal activities to children in their respective communities. Among those groups is the First Baptist Church of Linden. The FBC will host its annual Fall Festival Halloween night, Sunday, Oct. 31 at 4:30 p.m.“We have Trunk or Treat,” event organizer Charlotte Barkley said of one of the most popular features of the annual event. “We have games, inflatables, cake walk and, of course, we have food.” While the Trunk or Treat feature gets a lot of attention before the festival due in large part to the work put into setting up the event, attending children often get distracted by other options .“Sometimes they forget about going to get their candy,” Barkley said. While the event coincides with Halloween, it does not necessarily indicate an endorsement of the holiday by FBC. Rather, that group’s focus is on serving the children of the community in any form it can find.“We have Fall Festival as an alternative to trick-or-treating,” Barkley said. “We try to have everything in a safe atmosphere and a Christian environment. It is an alternative as opposed to going to neighborhoods they don’t know.” While the Linden FBC’s Fall Festival offers candy and plenty of Halloween-themed fun, the First Baptist Church of Demopolis will host its own variation of the event that will be just a little different. “We are going to do kind of a county fair type thing the afternoon of the 28th,” Betsy Stephens, organizer of the Demopolis FBC, said. “The buses will pick the children up from school.”Children attending the Demopolis FBC event will be treated to dinner at 5 p.m. before dismissing at 5:30. In the time preceding that, they will be afforded an opportunity to enjoy a seasonal, if not celebratory, atmosphere.“We’re hoping to have some animals and a petting zoo type thing,” Stephens said. “It’s not a trick-or-treat type of thing. They just get so much stuff at Halloween. This is, maybe, just a little break from all the candy and dressing up.” The event at Demopolis FBC will focus primarily on the students of the group’s Weekday Early Education School. “We’ll send some stuff home with the ones that come to church either next Wednesday or the Wednesday after,” Stephens said of information availability regarding the event. Other events in the area that weekend include the annual Fun Night at Christian Chapel Baptist that is set to begin at 5:30 p.m. Halloween night. “They just come and enjoy the games that we have set up in the life center,” Sheila Curry said. “It’s not really celebrating Halloween, it’s just giving the kids something to do on that night. We don’t ask them to wear costumes, but if they do we welcome them to come as well. Our goal is to keep the kids off the street and away from trick-or-treating and give them a safe place to come and have fun and fellowship.”