Close to two dozen churches from around Hot Spring County came together this weekend for a celebration of unity and acceptance of one another in Christ.

The "Praise in the Park" community event, presented by the Malvern Ministers Conference, took place Saturday afternoon at Malvern City Park.

Religious leaders and devoted congregants from numerous organizations came together for food, fellowship, and a celebration of "Unity in the Community.” The public were invited to attend, and many local residents not affiliated with the representing churches still took part in the day’s festivities.

Several bounce houses were set up for the kids, free burgers and sides were served, and numerous door prizes were handed out to the lucky ticket holders whose numbers were drawn. First responders with the Malvern Fire Department arrived in one of the impressive department trucks utilized in serving the community, giving kids a chance to get up close and personal with the awesome service vehicle.

Pastor Shonte Foster with Revive Church on MLK Blvd., said the idea for the Praise in the Park event was first introduced by Rev. Rodrick L McCollum, Sr. with First Missionary Baptist Church Rockport, who is the sitting president of the Malvern Ministers Conference.

“This was his brainchild, for us all to come out here, and all the churches to unite for fellowship. To have unity in our communities, where we all get together regardless of race, religion, whatever,” Foster said. “It’s about community involvement and community unity, where we can get together as one.”

Read the full story in Thursday's Sept. 22 newspaper edition.

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