Churches expecting hundreds for summer camp
Four years go, Kevin Kilgore took part in a mission trip to Baltimore and discovered an outreach to children.
On Monday, his inspiration is renewed in the fourth annual Embrace Henderson sports camp. Children ages 3-12 will have the opportunity to be in a camp with sports games, stories and a lunch, anchored at South Henderson Park.
“We had several in our church go, and we found they put a lot of emphasis on reaching out to the inner-city kids,” Kilgore said. “They called it Embrace Baltimore, and that was the inspiration for our group, Embrace Henderson.”
Eleven local churches are partnered in the event, which runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day. Campers can come any day of the week, but organizers request they be there 30 minutes early their first day to take care of registration paperwork.
“We’re expecting around 300,” said Rev. Will Breedlove, pastor of Harriett Baptist Church. “We are excited about doing it. We want the kids to have a place where they can come to play.”
Breedlove said the first three years, each camp drew children by the hundreds as well. Baseball, kickball and Frisbee will be the primary games.
The park is next to Harriett Baptist, which is next to the intersection of South Carolina Avenue and Pinkston Street.
Kilgore said the trip to Baltimore became more than an outreach to others when he found his own perspective and vision changing.
Breedlove’s boys, 11-year-old Ben and 8-year-old Matthew, said they were ready for the competition. Ben is eyeing baseball and their brotherly rivalry, saying Matthew runs fast.
Breedlove said campers will move from game to game each day. After getting together for an opening song, younger and older age groups divided into teams will participate in the three sports games. The morning ends with lunch and reading from the Bible.
“We will have the story time while we eat lunch,” Breedlove said. “The main thing is the outreach to kids. We try to reach out to them and love on them.”
There are 11 churches helping with the program this year. Breedlove said seeing many churches working together is another inspirational thing about Embrace Henderson.
“Another good thing is having numerous churches working together to do this,” he said. “It keeps growing each year. It’s good to see that.”
In addition to Harriett, other churches include Central, West End, North Henderson, Raleigh Road, New Life and Clearview Baptist churches involved along with New Covenant Faith Ministries, Room at the Cross, Cotton Memorial Presbyterian and New Sandy Creek churches.
Breedlove, who grew up locally, began his tenure at Harriett Baptist in 2010 as a new calling to the challenge of ministry. Prior to that, he was service manager for the Ford-Honda dealership in Oxford.
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