Bethel begins Easter celebration in Fillmore with 'Serve Sunday'

Thursday, April 17, 2014
Courtesy Photo Building the community park their church helped fund, Bethel Baptist Church members (from left) Jeff Tincher, Robert Heavin, Tyler Vandermark and Bryce Hill construct a swing set last Sunday. The church made Palm Sunday into Serve Sunday, with 279 members converging on Fillmore for a day of cleanup, construction and overall service.

FILLMORE -- Palm Sunday in Fillmore was not the sleepy spring morning one might find on any other Sunday.

Instead, at 8:30 a.m. 279 members of Bethel Baptist Church met at Fillmore Elementary School for "Serve Sunday." Following a brief worship service in the gymnasium, they spread out into the community wearing red shirts, big smiles and a heart for service.

Over the next few hours, these volunteers proceeded to serve the town of Fillmore by picking up trash, fixing playground equipment, re-landscaping the elementary school, building a new shelter in Fillmore Town Park and two new shelters on the People's Pathway, cleaning and painting the town hall, and so much more.

This day was the vision of church leadership, led by Pastor Nathan Couch, as it is their desire that everyone involved at Bethel have the opportunity to "Know, Grow, Serve and Share" on a regular basis.

Serve Sunday exemplifies the service component as it promotes, in Couch's words, "A church full of people who have a desire to love others in such a way that to serve like this day becomes the norm instead of the exception. Today was just the beginning of that dream."

Bethel's vision also includes the creation of a whole new generation of servant leaders in our youth.

"Service is a transformational experience as it goes against all that is natural and instinctive in us," Couch said. "There is no better way to learn to serve than doing it alongside of your parent, grandparent or even a great-grandparent. On this day we had families with four generations serving together."

Bethel Baptist chose to serve Fillmore because the church and town have been connected since the 1800s.

"We are a church that loves its community and this is our community; these are our neighbors," one member said. "It is our commitment at Bethel to seek to improve life for all, not just those inside our church."

Organizers chose the date of the project precisely because it was Palm Sunday, which always falls on the Sunday before Easter.

"On this day some 2000 years ago, Jesus came into Jerusalem and began one of the greatest weeks of service in history; such intense service that it ultimately led to his death on the cross for mankind," Couch said. "When looking for a day where everyone in the church could serve together, this one stood out above all others."

He was also quick to point out that this day was made possible due to the great support of the Fillmore Town Council and many local businesses that donated money and supplies needed for several of the projects around the town.

Serve Sunday was just the beginning for this important week at Bethel. They will also be putting on a massive Easter egg hunt on Saturday, April 19, at 1 p.m., at Big Walnut Sports Park on the east side of Greencastle where the community at large is invited to take part in the celebration.

The week of service will conclude on Sunday, April 20, with Easter service to be held at Fillmore Elementary School at 10:30 a.m. Everyone in the community is invited and encouraged to attend.

For more information about Bethel Baptist Church visit www.bethelus or contact Nathan Couch at

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