Sep. 22—Mark Phillips, an organizer of the Kingdom Reunion, set for 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday in Landreth Park, bills the event as a "Christian family reunion," with speakers, free food and information about resources to help people in the community.
"We just try to bring unity not only to our community but within the body of Christ," Phillips, with the Pressing Toward the Goal Ministry, said in a recent interview with the Globe. "That's why it's like a family reunion — a Kingdom Reunion — where people can come together and worship together and meet some people they might not have met before."
Phillips founded Pressing Toward the Goal Ministry in 2020, and the Kingdom Reunion event has evolved in its first three years.
"The first two were at Ewert Park, and this one we moved to Landreth Park," Phillips said. "Last year, we did it in the middle of June and learned to wait until the weather cools off a little bit. People were very hot. It looks like this is going to be the ideal time to do this."
Phillips said the event will feature two main speakers, Pastor Scott Smith, with the Wellspring Church in Webb City, and Darrell Dorcy, with the Destiny Church in Joplin.
Around those two speakers will be worshipping and people standing to talk about different services in Joplin to help people in need.
Phillips said the ministry will serve free pulled-chicken sandwiches, chips and drinks while supplies last at the event.
Phillips also serves as assistant pastor at the Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, 204 N. School St., Joplin. He said Pressing Toward the Goal Ministry is a multidenominational ministry supported by a number of churches in the Joplin area.
"It's an outreach ministry that was designed to do what we're doing right now, to bring unity and bring people together," Phillips said. "All of our board members are from different churches. Me and my wife, Tracy, go to Shiloh Missionary Baptist church. Joe Earhart is from Wellsprings Church, Chris Jones goes to Central Christian Church and Taylor Reed goes to Destiny Church."
Phillips said his ministry works with area schools to identify children and families in need.
"Even though we're a small ministry, a lot of resources help us do what we do," Phillips said. "We gave out over 300 backpacks with school supplies at Central Christian Church last month. I'm on my way right now to Convoy of Hope to get a load of food and we'll distribute it and feed into the other smaller churches that might not have a food pantry. Our job is to continue to bring people together and do things that try to unify our community. We feed the homeless a lot, that's been a big part of we do, and we support other ministries that do that."
For information about the Pressing Toward the Goal Ministry and the Kingdom Reunion, see the website at https://pressingtowardthegoal.org.