Eden Westside Hosted Special Friends 3k Walk & Roll 2016 and it was an awesome event.  We appreciate everyone who make this annual event a success.  Here is an article published in the St. Clair News-Aegis which highlighted many details.

Eden Westside Hosted Special Friends 3k Walk & Roll 2016 and it was an awesome event. We appreciate everyone who make this annual event a success.

Walk & Roll: Community shows support for Eden Westside’s Special Friends ministry
By Dona Bonnett leedsmoodynews@gmail.com
May 9, 2016

It was a gorgeous day for the Special Friends 3k Walk & Roll last Saturday. Over 60 people participated in the annual Eden Westside Baptist Church event at their Eden Campus.

The first Special Friend across the finish line was Lee Lowe, with his partner, Rachel Creswell, a staff member of the church. As Lee crossed the line, his hands were raised in praise, immediately making this statement: “Winner! Winner! Chicken dinner!”

It was such a joy to see children and adults of all walks of life having fun. The motivation for this event came from the Bible in Hebrews 12:1-4 which says that, as Christians, we go through trials and difficulties in our lives, but knowing God will help us overcome if we continue forward in our faith.

Jaime Duffle, a participant, said the scripture signs all around the 3K path really spoke to her heart. As she approached Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me”, she began sharing testimony of the difficulties in her life as a disabled teen in her junior and senior years. Jaime said this scripture spoke to her during those really hard times, and she believes it is those words that have continued to help her to overcome since then. She is now in her 50s.

All 3k participants received a t-shirt, goody bag, gift card to Chick-fil-A, door prizes and a Special Friends Walk & Roll 3K medal. The 3K race began with a bang as participants ran through the EWBC tunnel. At the end of the race, Pastor Jacky Connell hung the medals around the special friends’ necks, concluded with prayer and everyone releasing a balloon to thank God for their lives and abilities, gifts and blessings.

After the Special Friends 3K race, the Children’s Department event “Hot Dogs, Handlebars & Hot Rods” cranked up to make the day complete. Approximately 38 antique cars and around 20 motorcycles participated in the car show. Awards included Best In Class Motorcycle, going to Johnny Thompson; Best in Class Show Car, won by Robert Bradford and his 1934 Dodge along with Jacky and Denise Connell with their impala.

Inflatables, face painting, all types of crafts for the kids were scattered all over the outdoor church campus. Hayrides and train rides continued throughout the day with Scotty Pinson, who drove kids around the mountain on the incredible barrel train ride. Eight children’s bicycles were given away. Over 800 people with approximately 300 children enjoyed the day with all of the festivities.

Funds raised from these two events will go to further the Children, Youth and Special Needs Ministries.

Eden Westside Baptist Church is one church with two locations in Pell City on Wolf Creek Road and Leeds on Highway 78 just past the Shops of Grand River. Special Friends began in 2002 due to a need recognized for ministry of special needs children and adults. Pat Shipp is currently directing the program, which averages approximately 15 participants each Sunday. Special Friends has their own Sunday morning service, but join in with the congregation Sunday evenings. Once a year, the ministry leads a night service with worship, sharing their individual talents in singing and reciting scripture.

For more information about the church and their ministry support, visit their website at EdenWestside.org or their Facebook page to stay up to date with upcoming activities.

To view the article online in the St. Clair News-Aegis, please click on this link:  Special Friends 3k Walk & Roll Article