Celebration Baptist Church, Rio Rancho, hosted its first car show and fall festival, Sunday, Oct. 30th. The sun and breeze made people thankful as they milled about admiring the cars, sampling food, and visiting each other.
Karie Moulton, one of the driving forces behind the show, noted that the day's festivities were a "church family event" and a by-product of focusing on God and working to glorify Him. Organizers were seeking an outreach that would appeal to men and boys and "fill the spiritual hunger in our community and be a witness for Christ." With that goal in mind, about 50% of the church turned out to set up, take down, provide and serve food and snow cones, man the sound system, and supervise games.
The event "[s]tart[ed] with the power of prayer...Turning first to God and praying for those open doors", Moulton said. About 200 people turned out for the event and, of course, the cars.
The parking lot was full thanks to Christian Rods and Customs, who brought nine of the 18 vehicles on display. A red and white 1963 custom replica Cobra filled the first spot, followed by classic cars, such as a 1956 Thunderbird, and American muscle cars, like a black and yellow 1968 Buick GS and cherry 1970 GTO. Even a chocolate Royal Enfield motorcycle came out.
Many of the vehicle owners were available to speak with visitors and were happy to discuss their particular cars' history and details. One such car was the 1963 Chevy Nova SS modified, which won best in show by popular vote.
Church members had numerous opportunities to invite attendees to church and encourage people. Celebration’s pastor, Jesse Parker, commented, "This event was a great opportunity for us as a community of believers to reach out with the Gospel to those around us. We strive to be on mission together and reach out to the community around us. The car show allowed us to engage people who might never attend church service."
While adults focused on the food and the cars, children mostly congregated around a bounce house and throwing games, including cornhole, hula hoop toss, frisbee, and a football throw. Even though they could not play the games, six dogs in attendance worked the crowd, too.
Several local and church-based ministries had booths offering information, opportunities, and resources in the area. The Awana booth featured a scavenger hunt for adults and children. The pro-life table, sponsored by Standing with You, presented free pregnancy resources in the Rio Rancho vicinity and invited people to sign a petition to make Rio Rancho an abortion-free city. At the New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief (NMBDR) table, State Disaster Relief Director Ed Greene and his wife, Loretta, visited with guests from the community. The explained NMBDR’s mission to bring help, healing, and hope to people affected by disasters.
Standing N The Gap, a ministry that shares Jesus Christ with young adults and equips them to lead successful lives, operated the grill and snack table. One of the organizers of the car show, Jennifer McCreight, who is also the founder of Standing N the Gap, summed up the day, "To God be the glory! It was through months of prayer, petition, and participation this car show was a success!"