Showers hosts inaugural Harvest Fest

Naomi Bonds, left, and Caroline Savage worship at the Showers of Blessings Harvest Center Harvest Fest held Saturday at T.B. McPherson Recreation Center.

LEE FERINDEN/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 18, 2013 at 9:01 p.m.

Eddie Battle, whose sister recently died unexpectedly, smiled and claimed a healed heart after Apostle Willie King Jr. of Showers of Blessings Harvest Center prayed for him and laid hands on him at the Harvest Fest sponsored by the church.



Pastor: Apostle Willie King Jr. and Pastor Linda King.
Location: 2615 SE 15th St.
Services: Sunday Fresh Manna is 8 a.m., followed by morning worship and Children's Church at 11 a.m.; Holy Communion is second Sunday and full-time City College, Gainesville Job Corps Center, Santa Fe College and University of Florida students are served dinner after morning worship service every third and fourth Sunday. Mid-week service and interactive Bible study is 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Phone: 352-375-3589.

"That prayer from Apostle King means a lot to me because I've been kind of down since my sister passed real suddenly several weeks ago, and I've been struggling a lot, but that prayer has lifted me up and lightened all of the burdens off of me," said Battle, 53, of southeast Gainesville. "My heart feels a little bit lighter now."

Harvest Fest was held Saturday at T.B. McPherson Recreation Center, just blocks away from Showers of Blessings at 2615 SE 15th St. Hundreds of people turned out for the event, which featured food, slam dunk and three-on-three basketball competitions and a host of vendors, including the Alachua County Library District Bookmobile, Alachua County Public Schools Head Start program, Alachua County Habitat for Humanity, the Remnant of College Ministry at Showers of Blessings, the University of Florida Muslim Medical Association and others.

In addition, Pastor Shirley Watts of WPZM-PRAIZE 107.5 FM was on hand broadcasting live. The event also featured a face-painting booth that was very popular with the children.

As the mesmerizing aroma of grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and fried fish swirled through the air, folks got in line to be served by members of the church. While the food was being served, a church member, Evangelist Rodney Long, used the microphone to get the players organized for the basketball competitions.

Gospel rap boomed from speakers as the players warmed up. One player, Mike Welch, took a few moments to share his thoughts about the event.

"I think this is good because a lot of people out here are my folks anyway, and I haven't had a chance to see them in a long time, so this is like a family reunion to me," said Welch, a 1999 graduate of Newberry High School, who also played college basketball at Santa Fe College and the University of West Florida in Pensacola.

The three-on-three competition was won by The 3 Disciples of Archer team of Antonio Brown, Chevante Daniels and Terrence Hall. The slam dunk contest was won by Reshard Jackson of Hawthorne.

Apostle Willie King and Pastor Linda King, leaders of the church, said the church was founded 12 years ago with a major emphasis on reaching people outside of the four walls of the church.

"We do a lot of things in the community, but we have never had a community outreach event of this magnitude," said Willie King. "This means a lot to me because a lot of churches have church, but they don't have ministries that get involved with the community."

Linda King echoed the sentiments of her husband.

"This kind of ministry is very important because a lot of people are not going to come to church and there are so many untapped souls that really need the word, so if they don't come to us, we have to go to them."

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