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Change the World Day at First UMC
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"Change the World Day,’’ a program that offers help for those in need, supports community service projects and offers a number of free activities, will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at Covington First United Methodist Church, 1113 Conyers St.

The fourth annual event will start at 8 a.m. with a Steeple Chase 5K, 1-mile fun run and quarter-mile race. The Steeple Chase events will raise money for people with special needs in Newton County.

At 10 a.m., community service projects will be held at Chimney Park, where volunteers will assist with a cleanup and light installation at the park, and at the Miracle League Field, where a community playground build-out will take place.

From noon until 3 p.m. on the front lawn of the church, a fall festival will feature games, face painting, a petting zoo, live music and food. Everything is free, but donations will be accepted for people with special needs. There will also be art displays, several interactive events, giveaways and more.

More than 55 booths will be manned by different churches, sharing opportunities and explaining assistance they offer to Newton County residents.

In addition, the Gifts of Grace Expo will offer services to those in need, such as haircuts, modified manicures and pedicures, and giveaways, all courtesy of Golden Razor Beauty College. There will also be health screenings for vision issues, blood pressure and glucose levels. Flu shots will also be offered, but are not free. Insurance, including Medicare, Medicaid and Peach Care will be accepted.

Bags of food, health kits, coats, sweaters, blankets and socks will be available for those in need. Booklets filled with information on assistance agencies will be given to those attending the Gifts of Grace Expo.

The Rev. Douglas Gilreath, senior pastor at Covington First UMC, said the annual event is about bringing the community and churches together.

"This is not something that we want people to say that Covington First United Methodist is doing, but rather the faith community is coming together, and we’re just simply the venue for the faith community coming together," he said. "Not only the faith community, but also the different agencies within our community that provide many, many different services for our community."

Gilreath said all churches are invited to come and be a part of the day. He said hundreds of people from different churches and from the community usually attend or volunteer.

"One of things that we invite churches to do, if they are doing specific ministries for the community, is to come out and to be able to share those ministries and information about those ministries,’’ he said.

"This is not a day that we are looking to gain new members … but to be able to share with the community, as a whole, the many different services and opportunities here in Covington to minister to people’s needs."

For information about "Change the World Day," call 770-786-7305 or visit