Hooray! Around the country it is that favorite time of year for annual fairs and festivals, and free food. The First Baptist Church, located at 1049 S. Curry St., will provide all three from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, in the quad area of the church.

The Ministry Fair is designed to give the community an overview of each ministry the church provides. Leaders of each activity will be present to answer questions. While mom and dad check out the impressive displays, children, ages 5 and up, will enjoy a big bounce house, games and art. Other entertainment is in the planning stage. Following the quad excursion, a free barbecue tri-tip steak sandwich plus all the fixings will be served.

Exhibit booths will include visual examples of each ministry. Check out the children's department, men's program, and music department as Director Nina Lopez will proudly showcase the choir's hand bells and discuss the junior and senior choirs. The women's ministry is a community favorite under the tutelage of Sue Weinberg.

Sunday school classes are for all ages, and educational materials will be on display. Also, Patti Browne will be excited to explain David's Cradle. This ministry reaches far and wide and will include an exhibit of beautiful, handmade burial attire for infants, full-term babies born asleep, as well as infants up to six months. The garments are made from like-new wedding dresses that are donated. This program shares with people not only in our community, but all other people who ask for the service. Wedding gowns from across the country have been mailed to our organization to be used in making the funeral attire, and dresses will be accepted at the Ministry Fair, or can brought to the church at any time of the year.

Another popular booth is the Giving Back Outreach for active duty service people overseas. The servicemen and women receive gift boxes on holidays for their whole unit four times a year and include hard-to-get items that are mailed to relatives and friends. Service people do not have to be members of First Baptist Church. Come check out the details with Chairperson Barbara Stoll.

Letters from recipients, as well as from commanding officers, report the excitement of all service personnel who get to share gifts such as Top Ramen, candy and cookies, as well as gifts of toiletries, sunscreen, lip balm and fingernail clippers. Recently, personnel in a war zone were restricted over several hours to quarters due to a terror threat. Someone had a hot pot so the unit had Top Ramen and cookies because they could not go to the mess hall. There are many stories like this. Attendees at the Ministry Fair are welcome to sign up a loved one.

Pastor John Lopez will be present to chat and answer questions about the mission of First Baptist Church. A relative newcomer to Tehachapi, he enthusiastically welcomes one and all. For more information, call the church office at 822-3138.

LaNelle Thompson is a member of First Baptist Church in Tehachapi.