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The 9th Annual Love Out Loud Meridian is set for next week, with hundreds of Christians serving their community and sharing the love of Jesus. This year, organizers hope the event will be near pre-pandemic size, after a downsized year last year because of Covid-19.
Dozens of churches are participating in this year’s LOL, which will kick off Sunday night, July 18, at 7 p.m. with a special service at Meridian’s historical Temple Theater. People will go out Monday through Friday to do numerous acts of service in the community.
These include holding a multi-sports camp for kids at the Boys and Girls Club at Highland Park, offering a free car wash and prayer, helping schools prepare for the upcoming year, and simply doing random acts of kindness throughout the city. As they go, participants will share the hope of the gospel with those with whom they come in contact.
“We have already gotten a great deal of interest from churches about this year’s event, including some churches who have never participated before,” Phillips said. “So, my hope this year is that this year’s event will be different than last year’s, but very similar to years past.”
Love Out Loud began 9 years ago as a way for Christians in Meridian to show the love of Jesus to the community. It has grown from about 150 participants the first year, primarily from Northcrest Baptist Church, to more than 800 people and more than 30 churches.
“We hope we can expand Love Out Loud outside of Meridian,” Phillips added. “Philadelphia began a Love Out Loud last year. We have also been talking with the Mississippi Baptist Convention about ways that churches and local Baptist associations across the state can do something similar to Love Out Loud where they are.
“Our hope is that eventually, we see churches and communities all over Mississippi doing something like this.”
Participants will meet Monday-Friday morning at Northcrest at 8 a.m. for breakfast and worship, before going out to their sites to serve throughout the day.
There will also be a special “Touch a Truck” event Tuesday evening at 5: 30 p.m. for kids, with fire trucks, police cars, a helicopter, and other heavy machinery for kids to get to see and touch. That will be held in the parking lot of the old Family Bowl Lanes, beside Northcrest.
There will be two other worship services at Temple Theater in addition to Sunday night – Wednesday night and Friday night. Both will be at 7 p.m.
Phillips went on to say the city of Meridian has always been incredibly grateful and helpful to Love Out Loud in making things happen.
“We have different churches join in to participate every year, and many of the churches that have participated in some way have seen people come to faith in Jesus, be baptized, and join through what they’ve been able to do. The body of Christ needs to show what we can do when we come together with a common purpose of demonstrating God’s love.
“We all have doctrines and practices and preferences that may keep us separate during other parts of the year, but this is a great way to show that we are still unified around the most important thing – the gospel of Jesus.”
LOL is always looking for more volunteers! If a church or individual wants to participate in this year's Love Out Loud, they can call (601) 265-1034, or send an email to [email protected] For more information, visit lolmeridian.com.
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