By Judith Roberts
Temple Baptist Church’s annual patriotic program and fireworks — the LoveLincoln Freedom Fest — is celebrating 25 years of bringing the community together.
Reggie Bridges, senior pastor of Temple, said this is an opportunity for the community to join together in celebration.
“I believe that people return each year to give thanks for the religious, political, civic freedom that we have in our nation,” Bridges said. “There are so many divisions within our nation today, but in the patriotic service, such conflict seems to give way to unity as we celebrate the freedom God has given us. It is also a moment of humility and reflection as we honor those of our military who sacrificed so much for us to know such liberty. People enjoy being together for such times and are encouraged to know that many others have the same sense of gratitude as they do.”
The LoveLincoln Freedom Fest’s patriotic program will take place at 7:30 p.m. July 3 in Temple’s sanctuary with fireworks to follow around 9 p.m. More than 1,800 individuals have attended the ceremony in the past, Bridges said, with hundreds more who come to the fireworks.
“The fireworks are a huge event for our community,” Bridges said. “We also want them to be special, and we often seek ways to make the experience better.”
The fireworks generally last around 15 to 20 minutes.
The program also has a “Procession of Patriots,” when veterans, with flags in their hands, walk down the sanctuary aisle.
“I never forget that those men and women served that I might practice and preach my faith freely,” Bridges said. “It is such a special moment within an already special service.”
Any community veteran who wants to participate in the “Procession of Patriots” is welcome to do so and only needs to show up at 7 p.m.
“The Temple family loves this community,” Bridges said. “We have been a part of it since 1926, and this community has been great to us. Indeed, our members themselves are the community. We live, work and serve here. To us, the patriotic program is just one way that we want to bless the community we so love. We always want to be people who help bring life and peace to our community.”
This event is open and free to all individuals.
“It such a wholesome, exciting time together,” Bridges said. “Basically, we want the program to be about our gratitude toward God for our civic freedom, and we hope that it will encourage every individual to live as citizens who ‘love their neighbors.’ We must never take that for granted.”
To report an issue or typo with this article – CLICK HERE