By Sharon Mager
OAKLAND, Md.—Church members from several Western Baptist Association (WBA) churches, along with one from the Susquehanna Association and Prince George’s Association shared the Gospel with over 100 people at the Autumn Glory Festival in Oakland earlier this month.
“If not the best, it was definitely one of the best days we’ve ever had…” said WBA Director of Missions Kenny Heath. “The weather was beautiful; crowds turned out; and God gave lots of opportunities!”
“We ministered to and shared the Gospel with well over 100 people through children’s crafts, face painting, balloon animals, free popcorn, hot chocolate and coffee, a prayer table, walking sticks, and the baby comfort station,” said Deborah Heath, who worked alongside former Deep Creek Lake Resort Minister Julie DuVall who returned to assist for the weekend.
“There were our mission teams that come every year, like Oak Grove Baptist, LaVale (Baptist), & Smithsburg Valley Church. Smithsburg brought their youth group with them and that was a first. They were hard workers and diligent in sharing the Gospel through crafts & face painting. Our new mission team was Fil-Am International Church (Upper Marlboro), led by Faith Rodulfa. Faith was one of my summer missionaries. Fil-Am youth worked hard, too. They helped anywhere they were asked and are now encouraged to become involved in more mission endeavors outside their area.
Rodulfa said she has had a burden on her heart to share the Gospel of Jesus. Working with DuVall through the summer was a great opportunity, she said, to begin stepping out in missions. She shared her passion with her church and brought a team of four additional college students with her to serve at Autumn Glory.
Her team did face painting, served coffee and popcorn, helped with arts and crafts, and even served as parade pacers. Rodulfa said the ministry strongly impacted the volunteers.
One young man with Rodulfa’s team was recently baptized and felt working at the festival fulfilled a call to obedience and service he was feeling.
“There was joy in service,” Rodulfa said. “Often we think we have to do something big, but the small things, handing someone coffee, opens conversations,” she said.
WBA volunteers also helped with the Maryland State Mandolin, Banjo and Fiddle Competition and the Autumn Glory Parade.
The teams also received several prayer requests during their time at the festival.