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August 31, 2014, 12:17 am

Pleasant Grove Baptist draws large crowd to Fall Festival

While Pleasant Grove Baptist Church is an intimate church with about 20 members — the church yielded a large and enthused crowd for its Annual Fall Festival on Oct. 13.

Crowds gathered throughout the day, for what turned out to be a sunny Fall day, with an array of activities and fellowship.

“We’re blessed because we have a lot of volunteers who came from the church I came from and surrounding churches,” said the Rev. David Pridgen. “They allow us to do so many things.”

Founded 40 years ago in 1973, Pleasant Grove has had three pastors leading up to the current pastor, Pridgen, who was installed this year, March 17, 2013.Pridgen was happy with the turnout of the festival and explained it was intended to provide resources and “bring the community together.”

The festival consisted of clothes giveaways, basketball games, board games, arts and crafts, face painting and a bake sale.

Pleasant Grove worked with The India Experience, who provided the DJ and Music on the Move Entertainment who provided the moon bounce, popcorn and cotton candy machine.Pridgen was pleased with their service and was happy they were able to partner with the two businesses.

“They are both young African-American women who do an incredible job,” he said. “When they got to their stations, I never saw them leave for a minute. They gave us more hours for what they promised. It was a way for us to promote them; we try to partner with small businesses.”

With an effort to connect the community to local resources, Pleasant Grove also partnered with the Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia Corporation on Aging and Healthy Start. The three organizations held tables and provided literature and information on the services their respective organization provides.

Pleasant Grove finds it important to reach out to the community and emphasize on helping the youth. Starting Oct. 21, they’ll hold their PrimeTime Kids Afterschool Program, a 40-week faith-based program developed by Scripture Union and The Salvation Army. Their mission is to serve students at “at-risk” after school hours, when they feel many children are left unsupervised.

Whether people came for fun and games and fellowship or to receive clothing for their families, Pridgen found the festival to be an overall success. Throughout the day, 68 different families were able to receive clothing. Pridgen found the weather to be the first “blessing” of the day that set the precedent.

“If you watched the weather it was forecasting rain but weather wise it turned out to be a perfect day,” Pridgen said. “That’s what really gave us the energy. There was never a drop of rain. The lord let us feed on that. When you feel a blessing right in front of your face you have to get excited.”