On Sunday, March 31, Cross Pointe Church in Laurinburg, North Carolina, packed up its musicians, workers, and congregation to take its morning service to the community.
For the past few years, Cross Pointe’s Senior Pastor Michael Edds has expressed concern over the crime and hunger rate plaguing his city, which has the fourth highest crime rate in the state. Edds believes that the responsibility for addressing the growing crime situation is not just the responsibility of the government. He believes churches must get involved and Cross Pointe (formerly East Laurinburg PH Church) is committed to bringing God’s love to the residents of Washington Park, a neighborhood victimized and terrorized by violent crime. “The transforming power of God’s love can change hearts and then change our neighborhoods,” said Edds. “Churches must get out of the four walls of their buildings and take that message into the community.”
On Sunday morning, over 70 church volunteers led by Associate Pastor Jason Watson organized food, fun, and games for the residents of Washington Park. As a large flatbed trailer was converted into a stage for the church’s praise band and singers, Scotland County Sheriff Ralph Kersey and deputies played football, sports, and games with the children. The event was a real community effort as the church provided free soft drinks and hot dogs and the Scotland County Parks and Recreation supplied games and activities. For four hours, church members, community residents, and local law enforcement officers sang, worshiped, and prayed together.
As the event concluded, a young man asked Pastor Edds, “Why is the church doing this?” Pastor Edds replied, “Because we love you!” The young man responded, “Wow!”
Cross Pointe’s commitment to its community is not just a one-time event. Each Tuesday evening, the church provides food, games, and a Bible lesson for approximately 125 children in the area. They have plans to expand this ministry with a new Life Center opening soon. Associate Pastor Watson and his team also want to visit different neighborhoods once a month to hold similar community events.
According to Pastor Edds, “Getting out of the four walls is changing our church. People are getting excited. Young families are coming to church.” Cross Pointe pastors believe that God has a great future in store for Laurinburg and they are committed to helping that vision become a reality.