ELIZABETHTOWN – Martin Street in Elizabethtown was jammin’ Saturday afternoon – music blaring, children playing, and friends greeting one another, all in the name of Jesus.
An annual event, the Jesus Jam at First Baptist Church of Elizabethtown began as the vision of a former church member.
“This was the dream of Veronda Lewis, who was a minister here,” explained Ether Mitchell, publicity officer for the congregation and spokesperson for the event. “Before she passed, she told our pastor about it, and he shared it with others. We’ve worked very hard to make her vision a reality.”
Now in its fourth year, the Jesus Jam was held Saturday on Martin Street. Inside the fellowship hall, a digital slide show bore witness to Mitchell’s words and honored the event’s founder. Directly adjacent to the screen was a table with congregation members available to pray with any guest who requested it.
At another table, guests could get their nails done, while yet another booth offered free goodies like mini notepads, cups filled with peanuts, snack bags with animal crackers, and surprise bags bearing stickers with “Jesus Jam.”
Children crowded around a crafts table making a variety of items to take home with them — including beaded necklaces and cups, while parents or caregivers conversed nearby with church members wearing “Jesus Jam” T-shirts.
The smell of meats cooked over charcoal filled the air, courtesy of a hamburger, hot dog, and sausage grill in the back of the church.
“We’re just getting warmed up,” the chef said with a grin, stoking the coals just before noon.
Chips and soft drinks rounded out the meal, while popcorn, lemonade, and funnel cakes were offered by vendors. A bubble machine delighted the children dancing in the parking lot to the gospel music being played over the loudspeakers.
Inflatable playsets included a waterslide to beat the 90-degree heat and a bounce house set up in the church parking lot.
“This is just something we want to do for the community,” Mitchell said. “It’s not just our church, but we have people from all over come out for this. We hope everyone has a good time.”
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.