The Central Virginian

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Local churches unite for extravaganza

Posted on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 9:00 am

Growing up in inner-city Richmond, Mike Crawley developed a passion for utilizing community outreach programs as a way to spread the Gospel.

“The church is not restricted or confined to four walls,” Crawley said, gesturing to the confines of his pastoral office at Foster Creek Baptist Church in Louisa. “My heart is in evangelism and in outreach.”

It was with that passion that Crawley founded what is simply known as the Community Extravaganza back in 2011. Now entering its fourth year of existence, the event promotes an active, healthy and outgoing lifestyle by offering activities that aim to nourish a person’s spirit, soul and body.

“The vision that the Lord gave me years ago for this event is that it would be something that would witness to all three of those components of our being,” Crawley said. “You will find that all of the vendors that come touch on each of those aspects.”

This year’s Community Extravaganza, which will be held on Saturday, May 3 at the Betty J. Queen Intergenerational Center in the Louisa Industrial Air Park from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., aims to draw an even bigger crowd than the 450 attendees who showed up last year.

Originally a small event operated exclusively by Foster Creek Baptist Church, five other churches have now joined forces with Foster Creek Baptist Church, forming a conglomeration that allows for a larger networking system and a wider range of influence.

And while the event’s tri-fold mission of improving a person’s spirit, soul and body could be described as centered, the vendors, ministries and services offered to accomplish the task are wide-ranging and sporadic.

Vision tests, HIV screenings and even mammograms are administered by professional services, as well as licensed pharmacists who will offer advice on prescriptions and proper usage of medications. Last year, Crawley said a routine blood pressure test sent one attendee to the hospital, perhaps avoiding an even larger crisis in the near future.

To read the entire story, see the April 24 edition of The Central Virginian.