West Charlotte pastor hopes to promote community engagement with upcoming food truck event

This weekend the pastor of First Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church is welcoming people from the surrounding neighborhood to come join them for festivities.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 12:17 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Pastor Shon Hagwood of First Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church is hoping an upcoming event will help connect his congregation with more people from the community where his church is located.

For several years the church has been located right near the intersection of Remount Road and West Boulevard in west Charlotte. While it is a busy area, Hagwood said many people from the surrounding community don’t associate with the church.

April Berry is the president of the community engagement and outreach auxiliary at the church. She shared a similar message regarding the congregation’s connection to the neighborhood.

“We have a lot of individuals that pass through here that typically don’t attend our church,” said Berry.

Hagwood noted that the congregation is now trying to improve their connection with the community.

“We’re trying to sew in and connect the community with our church and also vice versa because we kind of feel that there’s a disconnect that’s there,” said the pastor.

He noted that there has been nefarious community activity near the church. Just two months ago a Boost Mobile store across the street from the church was robbed at gunpoint.

“There have been murders literally right on this block, like literally right across the street,” said Hagwood. “These are things that really upset me because we don’t want to see it especially as a church. Church is always trying to promote life, not death.”

First Mount Zion will welcome several food trucks to its campus for a special event this coming Saturday. Community members are welcome to attend. Hagwood and Berry hope that the event will help connect the congregation to the surrounding neighborhood.

“While they’re riding down the street, they may say, ‘hey, that food reminds me of home’ or ‘that’s from my culture. Let me go over there and see what they’re talking about’ or ‘hey that smells good. Let’s see what’s going on over there at the church’,” elaborated Berry.

The pastor explained that he will not be trying to force religion on people who attend the event.

“It’s not about, ‘we want to proclaim Jesus to you and here it is and hit you with the Bible’. It’s not that. We want to let you know who we are based off this event, so that anytime that you wish to come into these doors, if we’re having anything, whether it’s service or we’re just cooking out, or we have some food trucks, that you can come on in,” said Hagwood.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Visitors will have to pay for food provided by the food trucks. The church is located at 1515 Remount Road in Charlotte.

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