Despite the threat of Hurricane Delta and the COVID-19 pandemic, the Mt. Olive Baptist Church #1 Freetown is still planning on holding its 147th annual October rally.

The rally will be an outdoor service and those who attend can sit in their car or on a chair in the parking lot on Sunday, Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.

For 146 years prior, Mt. Olive Baptist Church #1 Freetown deacon Carroll James said the annual rally has been a staple for their church and is excited to continue the tradition.

“Every year, the families, every October, would get together and everybody had a potluck and bring a dish and they had a family gathering at the church, at the October rally,” James said. “It will go from the morning all throughout the day.”

And while James acknowledged that the rally has changed this year due to restrictions with COVID-19, he expects to try to hold the annual rally.

“Even though it is a pandemic, we still want to keep the tradition going,” James said. “We may not be able to do it the same, but we are still going to have our October rally.”

This year, James said it may be different, as year’s past’ rallies included musicals, a word from their preacher and dining with the families, but still expects a good turnout.

“But being that we are in a pandemic, we are going to have a short sermon,” James said. “And outdoor gathering with families while social distancing.”

The theme for the 147th rally is “Love” with John 3:16, a verse that is important to both James and the church.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only forgotten Son,” James said, quoting the bible verse.

James said it’s important to remember that verse by John 3:16, especially with the events going on right now.

“It’s love between families, and love between people in general,” James said. “We need to bring the whole world together and love right now because we are going through a lot of turmoil in this world right now.”

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