DECATUR, Ala. (WHNT) – From a fully equipped praise band not afraid to rock to a pastor who unabashedly approaches the pulpit barefooted over five services on any given Sunday, Epic Church of Decatur has a reputation for doing things a little differently. That is especially the case when it comes to interactions with the community around them.
While most who were lucky enough not to labor Monday were likely relaxing or just enjoying family at home, Epic Church members got to work bright and early on Labor Day to kick off a little thing they like to call ‘Love Week’.
“Love Week is just a week we take every year and all we do is plan the whole week around events just to love on our community,” explains Co-Lead Epic Pastor Bené Marsh.
On Tuesday, Epic is planning surprise free oil changes in Decatur and Florence. The times and locations will be revealed on Epic’s social media platforms.
“Love Week Wednesday is going to be incredible,” says Worship Leader Travis Cherry. “Here at Epic we love all generations of people and one of the most incredible groups of people we get to reach out to is the older generation. So we are going to go into all the nursing homes in Decatur, Florence and Moulton and just hang out with them and even play games.”
Thursday on the Epic campus at 801 Fretwell Avenue in Decatur members will host a blood drive benefitting Ava ‘Bug’ Campbell, a Decatur toddler with a rare form of leukemia. Epic will also collect canned goods to donate to the Committee on Church Cooperation food pantry.
The final day of the week will see Epic’s version of Football Friday. Epic ‘love ambassadors’ will be out at the Decatur vs. Austin High game as well as the Lawrence County and Florence High School games.
“We are going to be giving away free tickets to the games for fans, passing out drinks and T-shirts, helping with parking and then cleaning up afterward,” says Epic Church member Lindsay Jones.
“These are our opportunities to connect with people,” explains Pastor IV Marsh, “and the hope is they will see us as being different and give us a shot on Sunday – Love Week is one of the many ways we have to demonstrate truly God’s unconditional love to people regardless of where they are on their journey.”
Marsh says though, even if a random act of kindness doesn’t lead to salvation or the recruiting of a new Epic member – it’s all about planting the seed.
“When Jesus drew in the sand, when Jesus fed the 5,000, when Jesus healed someone – those were events that would draw someone’s attention and lead to a deeper relationship with Him. But you have to love people solely because you love people, without any agenda whatsoever,” Marsh says.
Epic’s week of love will culminate Saturday with a free community yard sale at the site of their future campus at the old Carmike Cinema building located on 14th Street in Decatur. The yard sale will begin at 5 a.m. and all items are free.