Everyone seemed to have a good time Saturday in the Fellowship Gathering at Miller Park. There were games for children, worship music, hotdogs and clusters of people talking and laughing.
“We had a lot of different partners to make this happen,” said Bryant Ward, event coordinator.
The Rev. Bob Beamon, pastor of New Day Fellowship, who also helped with the gathering, agreed.
“It’s a God thing that’s taking place,” Beamon said. This is the unity the Bible talks about in Psalm 133, he said. “We’re the gatekeepers of the city, so we should know what’s in our city. We should pray and keep us unified as one body. In Corinthians it talks about one body and that’s what we’re aiming for.”
On the stage, Ward introduced representatives of four Bell County cities, who each spoke briefly: Killeen Mayor Jose L. Segarra, Nolanville Mayor Andy Williams, Belton Mayor Marion Grayson and Temple Mayor pro tem Judy Morales.
“God has blessed us so much,” Morales said. “We hope this is not the last. We want to do it year to year.”
Steve Jackson, pastor of New Wine Worship Center in Temple, said that even on Sunday Christians sometimes stay within themselves.
“Jesus gave the great commission to go out,” he said. “We want to get out of that box … and see where we can go from here. The Bible says, ‘How good it is when brethren dwell together in unity.’”
Beamon said many businesses and nonprofits supported the event. He praised Temple Fire and Rescue for setting up a safe driving exercise in the parking lot. Thomas Pechal, TFR spokesman and community education instructor, called it the “impaired drivers simulator.”
He had the drivers mount pedal carts and drive them through a short course marked off by cones. The second time around, the riders wore goggles that simulate a level of alcohol consumption, and makes them see double.
“We do this at the high schools, middle schools and various community events,” he said.
Rose Mose of Belton watched her daughters, Demyah, 5, and Maryella, 14, ride the course. Demyah rode without the goggles, but Maryella wore them, and said it taught her, “Don’t drive and drink.”
“It’s our first time,” their mother said. “It’s nice and educational for the children.”
Greg and Rose Pollock were sitting down listening to the music, with their four grandchildren nearby. “It’s good that we have churches coming to participate together,” he said.
They also came to the Friday night session at the park. Rose Pollock said one of the speakers used the illustration of a biscuit and how all the ingredients make a whole.
“God is making us one body, so the world will know we’re his disciples,” she said.