Local church holds Labor Day picnic at Lakebottom Park in Columbus

Published: Sep. 5, 2023 at 11:26 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A local church celebrated nearly 20 years of gathering for Labor Day.

Chattahoochee Valley’s picnic has been going on since 2005 giving families in the area something to do in town as many people hit the highways for what some call “the last summer vacation.”

Members of the River City Pentecostals gathered at Lake Bottom Park on Sept. 5 to fellowship and enjoy one another. The lead pastor said when they originated the picnic, they wanted to be able to provide their members with something to do outside the chapel.

For most Americans, the Labor Day weekend is a much-needed opportunity to reconnect with friends and family and provides a last hurrah before the start of fall.

The Labor Day picnic is how Brandon Batten, lead pastor of River City Pentecostals, has spent his Labor Day weekend for the past 18 years.

‘’We have had an annual Labor Day picnic just to provide an additional form of fellowship for our people and the people who are still in town, and that’s something we’ve done for as I said 18 years,” he said.

With high gas prices and inflation looming across the nation, Batten said the church is more than an organization.

“It is an organism, so it has to feed back into the people. So especially in the economic climate we’re in, we’re glad that we’re able to provide something for our people to come together, still have fellowship, still have fun and did not break the bank.” he said,

Shonte Brown has attended the annual picnic with her family for over two years. Brown said she enjoys spending the holiday with her church family.

‘’It’s a blessing because there are many people who don’t have family or have family that they could go to, and so to know that I not only have multiple people, but that we’re all close and we’re a close-knit church and so there is no distinction, there’s no separation we’re all unified and together, and that’s what I really enjoy when I’m around all of them,” she said.

Francisco Cardenas attended the picnic for the third time and he said it gives the members a lot of opportunities.

‘’It’s an opportunity to get together outside of congregating at the church, and a it’s an opportunity to get to know one another outside of that scene and for some it’s also an opportunity to compete in sports and flex some skills,’' Cardenas said.

Brown said if you have nowhere to be come next Labor Day, she has an a option for you.

‘’RCP the place to be,’' she said.

Labor Day holds a much deeper meaning, rooted in the 19th-century fight for fair working conditions.

The holiday was originally designed to honor workers as part of the American organized labor movement.