The 7th Annual Love Out Loud Meridian, a weeklong mission event in the city of Meridian, will kick off Sunday night, July 14, at 7 p.m. with a special service at the Temple Theater.
Dozens of churches will do numerous acts of service throughout the city the week of July 15-19. They will be doing everything from helping local schools prepare for the upcoming year, to giving haircuts to homeless and needy people, to cleaning up trash on city streets, to simply doing random acts of kindness throughout the community. As they go, participants will share the hope of the gospel with those they come in contact with.
Wade Phillips, Executive Pastor at Northcrest Baptist Church said participating in Love out Loud gives one an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
“This is an opportunity to show the love of Jesus, so we can share the gospel of Jesus,” Phillips said. “It’s an opportunity to be obedient to the call to love your neighbor, and the call to go and make disciples. That’s especially important for kids, because this is an opportunity to show them God’s people in action from an early age.”
Love Out Loud began seven years ago as a way for Christians in this community to show the love of Jesus to people in the community. It has grown from about 150 participants the first year, primarily from Northcrest Baptist Church, to more than 800 people and more than 30 churches a year ago. Phillips stressed LOL is no longer just a Northcrest event.
“We will have dozens of churches participating - this is not about Northcrest - it’s about Jesus, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive over the years,” Phillips said. “One of the coolest things is when people hear about it, they want to participate in it themselves.
“A group from Neshoba County is currently trying to organize an LOL there, so that’s extremely encouraging.”
Participants will meet Monday-Friday morning at Oak Hill Baptist Church at 8 a.m. for breakfast and worship, before going out to their sites to serve throughout the day. There will be two other worship services at the Temple Theater in addition to Sunday night – Wednesday night and Friday night. Both will be at 7 p.m.
“One of the main things that is new this year is our morning venue,” Phillips said. “We are doing construction at Northcrest right now, so we have moved our venue for morning worship and devotion to Oak Hill Baptist Church.”
There will be three special days of emphasis this year. On Monday, LOL volunteers will focus on Random Acts of Kindness, attempting to do hundreds of those acts throughout the day. On Wednesday, volunteers will attempt to go into every school in Meridian and Lauderdale County and help the teachers and administrators get their facilities ready for the new year. And on Friday, volunteers will hold a special "Water Day" event at Highland Park for more than 600 kids from the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi. Throughout the week, volunteers will do numerous other service and evangelism related activities.
If you would like to participate in LOL, Phillips said, just show up one morning at 8 a.m. at Oak Hill Baptist Church - 6201 MS 493.
“There will be sign up sheets where they can choose the mission they would like to participate in that day,” Phillips said. “If for some reason, they can’t be there at 8 a.m., they can call 601-265-1034 the day they want to serve, and we can help them find the right place.”
More information about this year's Love Out Loud can be found at www.lolmeridian.com.