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Unity event planned in Maplesville

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

An outdoor community worship service will be held on Aug. 2 at the Maplesville Park Music Pavilion, 301 Shanks Drive, at 5 p.m.

Organizers Min. Shaun Nix and Rachel Martin have named the event “One Church” in hopes that those from a variety of backgrounds will attend and worship together.

“It was a vision given to myself and Rachel martin to have this event,” Nix of Oak Grove Baptist Church in Plantersville said. “It was given to us by God because we see a lot of things going on with our world now, with the COVID virus changing stuff that is going on in our daily lives and we have a lot of racial issues going on, so we just felt like that we need to come together as Christians and for one worship God because he is the only one that is going to be able to fix any of our problems and to also show love and unity to our community.”

Martin said she initially had the idea when her pastor was preaching on being the Church and setting an example. She discussed the idea with Nix, but the timing did not work out until recently.

“When a lot of racial tension started with the protests and things like that I reached out to him again and said I think it’s time for us to get this going,” Martin said.

The event will feature a combined worship team and two guest speakers Pastor Mark Tillis of Greater Heights Bible Church in Stanton and Bro. Tony Reynolds of Randolph Baptist Church in Randolph.

“We don’t really have a lot of mixed churches here in Chilton County, so what we planned on doing was having two speakers — one African-American and one Caucasian speaker,” Nix said. “Then we are going to have a worship team that will have black and white people as well singing together and worshiping God together.”

Martin said she is looking forward to “everyone coming together and maybe starting some kind of revival renewing their spirit … and love everybody.”

Community members are encouraged to bring outdoor chairs, blankets or tents to spread out on the field. Nix said residents could also park and stay in their vehicles.

Social distancing and the wearing of masks for those not staying in their vehicles is encouraged.

“Even if we have different races and we have different political views, we can still love each other and we can still be united,” Nix said.

He said he hopes to see a good turnout for the event.

“We are one body of Christ,” Martin said. “We are just trying to be the change that we want to see.”

She said she and Nix have known each other for several years and have different opinions on politics, “but we have always been able to talk to each other respectfully and kind of help each other to understand the other side.”

She hopes that the event will encourage others and spread unity.

“This is the first time that we have organized this, but this is something that we want to try to do every year for the community to come together and worship God together,” Nix said.