Ladies and gentlemen! Boys and girls! Step right up to the best street “CARnival” you’ve ever seen! What started out as a fundraiser by Pastor Brian Harrison and Higher Ground United Pentecostal Church in French Lick, Indiana has now grown into something much more. “We live in a resort-type community,” said Pastor Harrison. “So we felt like it was a great venue to impact our local community, promote the church in the public eye, raise funds for Save Our Children, and make personal contacts with a variety of people.”
It’s a car show; hence the name, CARnival, but it’s also so much more. “This show includes 70-plus vehicles,” he explained. “We also have vendor booths set up to sell items such as baked goods, crafts and other unique items. We have multiple blow-up activities as well as a free kids’ play zone. This helps us in turn make contacts and reach families from our community and surrounding areas. We also have a drawing for prizes that people must register for, which gives us another point of reference to make contacts.”
Church involvement is critical, especially for new converts, and the CARnival event gives people an opportunity to be a part of the team. “It helps the newer converts feel more involved in the church,” said Pastor Harrison, “and it gives us the opportunity to get to know them. In the end, it helps them feel more like they are needed and a vital part of the body of Christ.”
The results speak for themselves. “It’s a two-fold blessing,” he explained. “We have had individuals come to church as a result of our CARnival. And we are also blessed to raise money for such a great cause, Save Our Children. We are excited about the future of our CARnival; we endeavor to grow by adding more vehicles, more vendors and by having a larger play zone for the kids. Community involvement is a great way to reach people and promote your church, and at Higher Ground UPC, we want the community to know that we care and that we are here for them.
“We can be ‘The Church,’ but if no one from our church goes beyond the church walls, how can we reach souls, and how can they know what our church and people are like? Jesus said to go into the highways and compel them to come into His house.”