Church to play host to athletes from DCHS

Published 5:53 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016

By Larry P. Stover
Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene

Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene will host the Dallas County High School athletes on Sunday, April 10. This will be the 5th annual celebration for the students at DCHS.

This has become a highlight of the year for both the church and students.  More than 150 athletes and their families are expected to join with the Praise Park church family for the celebration.

Special speakers have been a memorable part of the past.  Marty Smith, current Dallas County High School football coach, spoke to the crowd several years ago prior to his coming to the school.

The former head basketball coach of the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Jerod Haase, has been a guest speaker as well.

The church has decided to go in a different direction this year. Rather than a guest speaker, they will show the movie “Woodlawn.

It is a great movie (based on true events) about faith and unity during a time of unrest.

Following government-mandated desegregation in 1973, Tony Nathan joins fellow African-American students at Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, Alabama.

As violence and anger erupt in the city, Woodlawn coach Tandy Gerelds allows an outsider to speak to his players.

His message of hope and love leads to a spiritual awakening that inspires star athlete Nathan, his teammates and other members of the community to overcome the hate that surrounds them.”

I have always been a firm believer that the real answers to the dilemmas of our schools and community lay in the spiritual renewal that can only come about when Jesus Christ becomes “Lord of all.”

We know that neither the government nor the board of education can legislate or dictate real change; it has to come within the heart and soul of the individual.  “Woodlawn” is an awesome example of what can happen when students and coaches allow the Holy Spirit to take charge.

A great day is planned. Breakfast will be served beginning at 8:30 a.m.

Pancakes and sausage, along with a lot of extras are on the menu. The program will begin at around 9:15 a.m. with the movie to begin shortly thereafter.

All athletes at DCHS along with the cheerleaders and members of the dance team, as well as their families, are invited and encouraged to attend.

If there are any questions, please call the church office at 874-8041.

The church is asking the community to pray for “DCHS Day” asking God to speak to the students and their families through the message of “Woodlawn.”

They know it can make life “Simply Beautiful.