Church creates safe Halloween

The Rev. John Hill, pastor of Union the Church at Chelsea Park, shares the Gospel on Sunday mornings from the podium in the church’s new sanctuary, but considers the whole community his mission field.

“On Halloween, kids want to go out, so we wanted to create a safe place where they can come and have fun,” said the Rev. John Hill, pastor of Union, the Church at Chelsea Park.

So the church will hold a Fall Festival Halloween night, and a youth-sponsored Pumpkin Patch October 15-31.

Hill said he’s very outreach oriented and enjoys getting out meeting people.

“I believe in getting involved in the community,” he said. “And we’re doing the best we can to spread the gospel. People need that faith and to be centered with God. We (Christians) have the best message in the world and we want the best opportunity to tell it. We use events to reach people, but I don’t want us to get lost in ‘doing ministry’ and leave out sharing the gospel.”

Pastor Hill and wife Jill have five children, including 6-month-old twins. He works with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at Chelsea Middle School, where his older son plays football.

The congregation is constructing a new building for youth and children. They have between 17 and 25 youth at youth services on Wednesday evenings, the pastor said, and a great youth minister, Alan Briggs.

Sunday services begin at 9 and 11 a.m. Boy Scouts meet at the church on Mondays. Scout John Dowd did a lot of work around the church to help earn his Eagle Scout badge, the pastor said.

According to brothers Wendell and Bill Shaw, the church was founded more than 150 years ago by their ancestors, in a school house which sat where the church’s new sanctuary is located. The congregation later built a small, white frame building. Sometime after this, attendance went down and Shaw family members worked to build it up again, Wendell Shaw said.

Church Secretary Linda Coleman, said the oldest records found on Union date back to November 1859. The church name was changed in September 2007 from Union United Methodist Church to Union, The Church at Chelsea Park.

A new church directory is at the publishers, Coleman said, and includes a brief history of the church.

Bill Shaw’s book “Front Porch Tales With Paw Paw,” shares more intimate stories about people of the church and community.

It can be purchased at Hartley’s Restaurant in Chelsea or from the author by calling 678-6233.

Contact the church or Pastor Hill at 678-6677, Unionatchelseapark.org. through his blog Revjohnhill.org or on Facebook.

Shelba Nivens can be reached by e-mail at ssnivens@bellsouth.net.