Faith 1 10/9

Even after Hurricane Delta and with COVID-19 restrictions, members of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church #1 Freetown in New Iberia will hold its annual October rally, bringing the community together again Sunday.

After the visit from Hurricane Delta last Friday and Saturday, Mt. Olive Baptist Church #1 Freetown has rescheduled its 147th annual October Rally to a later date.

Many residents in New Iberia saw their power go out because of the storm, so the October Rally was moved back a week to this Sunday.

The rally is still planned as an outdoor service. Those who chose to attend can either sit in their car or take a seat in a chair in the parking lot at 10 a.m. Sunday if they want to enjoy the cool October weather.

Mt. Olive Deacon Carroll James said the annual rally has been a staple for the church for 146 years. Members are 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.”

While James acknowledged that the rally has changed this year due to COVID-19 restrictions and last week’s storm, he expects the rally to go on.

“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.”

Rallies in past years included musical celebrations, a word from their preacher and dining with the families, which are not feasible in the current environment. But James said he still expects a good turnout.

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

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

According to a flyer, the event is about having fun with friends, family and, above all things, loving God.

“Come make a joyful noise unto the Lord and serve Him with Gladness,” the missive read.

James added that with God’s love, anything is possible and to celebrate him with those you truly care about.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only begotten Son,” James said, quoting the bible verse. He emphasized how important it is to remember that verse, 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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