Heritage Hills Baptist Church holds fall festival

If You Go

What: Scarecrows and Casseroles Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Heritage Hills Baptist Church, 2987 Highway 212 in Conyers

Cost: Free

Heritage Hills Baptist Church welcomes the season's crisp cool air by hosting its first community autumn celebration. The Scarecrows and Casseroles Fall Festival is set for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the church located at 2987 Ga. Highway 212 in Conyers.The free event is open to the community and church members are hoping for a good turnout, festival organizer Debi Lovall said.

It was Lovall who kept waking up each morning with the words "scarecrows and casseroles" on her mind.

"The words kept popping into my head for three days," she said. "I told my husband, my sister and my girlfriends about it. I prayed about it, but didn't know what it all meant. I got on the Internet and typed in 'scarecrows and casseroles,' but that was no help. (There was a comment on the Internet from) someone who said they invited people over for casseroles and decorated with scarecrows."

Lovall, who had recently completed the Experiencing God program, said she finally realized she was being led to organize a fall festival with the theme "Scarecrows and Casseroles."

She said she told her pastor, "Don't think I'm crazy," but she believed this all meant the church should have a fall festival.

"He said it was a great idea," she said, adding that she was "not creative enough to come up with 'Scarecrows and Casseroles'" on her own as a theme, but rather attributed it all to God.

The Scarecrows and Casseroles Fall Festival will feature scarecrows made by church members displayed on the grounds and casseroles and desserts provided by the women of the church. Everyone is invited to have lunch in the church fellowship hall during the festival.

Lovall said vegetable and meat casseroles of all kinds, as well as an array of desserts and refreshments will be available.

The day will be filled with live entertainment, including the Honey Creek Bluegrass Band, The Tommy Murray Quartet, Before the Sunrise, clogging groups and other acts.

There will be games and activities for all ages, an inflatable moonwalk and obstacle course, a dunk tank, face painting and hay rides. Festival goers will also get an up-close look at a police car, fire truck and an ambulance. Door prizes will also be awarded during the day's events.

Heritage Hills Baptist Church Sunday School classes will be in charge of the many activity booths located on the grounds and Lovall said church members of all ages have stepped up to volunteer to help make the church's fall festival a success.

In addition, Heritage Hill's retired pastor, the Rev. Joe Hughes, will attend the festival as a judge for the pie tasting competition. Lovall said talented church cooks are making 25 pies in the hopes of taking top honors.

"The fall festival is one of the many ways we connect with our community," Heritage Hills Associate Pastor Thomas Broadhead said. "We want the people in our community to know and understand that we are not only present, but we want to partner with families for fun-time events like the fall festival, Trunk or Treat, Financial Peace University, Upward basketball and cheerleading and other events to encourage and support families.

"As a church, we intentionally plan events to bring the community to our campus in an effort to befriend and help however we can as a church."

Along with its outreach in the local community, Heritage Hills Baptist Church is involved in a range of ministry and mission programs. The church takes part in almost two dozen ministries locally, nationally and internationally, including its School Samaritans and after-school programs, home maintenance ministry, Lakeview ministry, Angel Tree, foster care ministry, Hispanic and English as a second language ministries, Covington Manor, construction mission trips, the Georgia Baptist Children's Home and foreign mission work in Barbados, Peru, Bosnia and Zimbabwe.

Heritage Hills Baptist Church offers worship services each week at 8:30 and 11 a.m., with Sunday School at 9:45 a.m.

Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Snellville, Ga. If you have a story idea, contact Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.

If you go

What: Scarecrows and Casseroles Festival

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday

Where: Heritage Hills Baptist Church, 2987 Highway 212 in Conyers

Cost: Free