LOS LUNAS (BNM) – First Baptist Church, Los Lunas, hosted its third annual Craft Fair on June 15 in conjunction with the Rio Grande Federated Republican Women’s 5k Fun Run. Brandon Campanella, the church’s youth and outreach pastor, said the church has a special focus on community involvement. Community involvement, he said, helps the church “meet a variety of people” and “make [it] visible,” and effectively reach the lost people of Los Lunas.
The church’s ministry assistant, Cindi Runyon, who also serves on the board for RGFRW, coordinated both events. Because both organizations sought to “promote values that strengthen families and communities,” she simply held both events at the same time. She said this event, like others the church hosts or supports, focused on community involvement. Runyon mentioned the significant number of lost people in their community – in response, the church actively seeks ways to serve the community and “be a light in the valley,” she said.
Keeping with the “family” theme, she originally scheduled the event for May 19, Mother’s Day; but due to flooding, the event was postponed to June 15, Father’s Day. Proceeds from the craft fair went toward the church’s youth group, while proceeds from the Fun Run went toward RGFRW’s mission to “[work] to elect Republican candidates.”
Runyon said the event saw a “steady flow of attendance:” 56 signed up for the run, 33 were vendors at the crafts fair, and 28 sponsored the event. The church has held a craft fair for the past two years through its coffee shop, Branch Bistro. Vendors sold items such as wood carvings and plants. And, some members of The Gideons International passed out Bibles.
She mentioned the church hosts many events through Branch Bistro, which was about to go out of business until the church purchased it with help from the Baptist Convention of New Mexico. Through Branch Bistro, the church serves in various state- and community-wide events, such as the annual Southwest Chocolate and Coffee Fest in Albuquerque. The coffee shop also hosts a Valentine’s Day dinner and a Fall Festival on Halloween for locals.
She also mentioned the church runs First Los Lunas Christian Academy, a Christian-home school blend for families who want to homeschool their children, but for some reason cannot. The school uses the video-based Abeka Academy Christian education curriculum and requires all parents to facilitate or assist in a classroom.