Belpre Gathering

BELPRE — Hundreds of people gathered at Civitan Park in Belpre on Saturday to enjoy free food, games and music at the seventh annual Gathering.

The Gathering is an event put on by local churches and organizations to reach out to community members and celebrate the close knit community.

Rick Hastings, pastor of Pioneer Presbyterian Church in Belpre, there were 11 churches and 10 community organizations involved in this year’s event.

The churches were handing out food, snacks and supervising or working games and inflatables.

Community organizations offered face painting, crafts, chances to win prizes and information on becoming involved with the organizations.

“The event is aimed for families to learn about what the community offers, from Scouts and the library to youth activities in the churches,” Hastings said, adding it has continued to grow over the years.

“Last year there was around 600 people who came out to enjoy the event, and we hope for similar or larger numbers this year,” he said.

The churches present were of various Christian backgrounds, including Presbyterian, Baptist, Catholic and more. Hastings referred to the Gathering as a community of Christ.

“We want to show unity in our faith even amongst the separate denominations. We still serve the same god, and possess the same goals” Hastings said.

Written on signs around the park was “Together we can make a difference, achieve the extraordinary, do impossible and reach new heights.”

Madeline Scarborough can be reached at mscarborough@newsandsentinel.com