With their website and their mission statement saying they desire to live life in 4D — display, delight, disciple and declare — Freedom Church at 125 East Main Street in downtown Lincolnton will be opening its doors on Aug. 9 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in an effort to do just that: display their love, delight in the company of community, disciple the community through that love and to declare the gospel during a back-to-school event they are calling “L-Town Love.”
Congregation members have been packing backpacks will school supplies for low-income students, which will be distributed at the event.
But the church isn’t stopping with just book bags full of supplies.
The event will provide everything from dental care to haircuts, even an opportunity for family photos to be taken. The parking lot behind the church will have food and music, but more importantly to the members of Freedom Church, they will have a message.
“The idea actually came from churches in Denver, where they started the idea called Love Denver,” said Michael Salanik, pastoral intern at Freedom Church and head of the L-Town Love project. After hearing about the program in Denver, Freedom Church pastor Clint Darst and several members of the congregation wanted the church to do something similar for the Lincolnton community. Darst sent Salanik and another pastoral intern, Luke Vandall, to the Denver meetings where they were not only welcomed, but encouraged to bring the idea to Lincolnton.
“They were excited,” Salanik said. “They wanted it to grow. So we told the people in the church and they were excited about it as well.”
Freedom’s congregation began putting the program in action, encouraging congregation members and anyone in the community who was willing to donate school supplies. Though one may not think of packing a backpack with paper and pencils as a ministry, to the members of Freedom, it is a living example of Romans 13:9.
“The verse clearly says you shall love your neighbor as yourself and I think it’s been clear in the community here that there are people who struggle to provide school supplies for their children,” Salanik said. “And so this verse comes into play and we thought that it was the perfect fit for us and the community and the love factor. It’s L-Town Love. This is a good way to love on your neighbor.”
“We love to share the Gospel with people in our community,” Salanik said. “The mission of our church is to see lives transformed, by God, through the Gospel, for His glory. And we do that through community outreach events to show love. To show God’s love.”
For more information on L-Town Love, visit www.freedomchurchnc.com.