CRESTVIEW — Rain didn't stop the Crestview Area Ministerial Association from providing a block party for Rolling Pines residents on Saturday.
It also didn't stop neighborhood children from enjoying CAMA’s inflatable slides and bounce houses.
It definitely didn’t deter residents from enjoying hamburgers and hotdogs provided at no charge.
And that’s just fine by CAMA, which wanted residents to enjoy the fruits of event organizers’ labor — and, hopefully, take a larger message from the get-together.
"We just want people to know that God loves them," CAMA acting President David Van Zandt said, adding the association wants to provide an annual block party at different residential areas.
Van Zandt, Dorcas Baptist Church’s pastor, said several area churches, including Joy Fellowship, Live Oak Baptist Church and Global Missions Baptist Church, volunteered for the event.
The Rev. Dale Walters, Joy Fellowship’s senior pastor, said the block party aimed to show residents that area churches could work together.
"We're not here trying to draw anyone into anything," he said. "We are showing them that we have love for one another, and that we can go across any denominational lines."
Another function was bringing the neighborhood together, Walters said.
"I'm sure there are a lot of people in this neighborhood that live here who have never met each other," he said.
One new resident appreciated the meet-and-greet opportunity.
"I didn't move here until last week," said Brian Collett, who will continue his service in the U.S. Air Force. "I thought this would be a good opportunity to get out and see everyone in the community."
Steve Young, who has lived in Rolling Pines with his wife and 2-year-old daughter for the past three years, said he has noticed many military members moving into the neighborhood.
"The neighborhood has grown over the past year," he said, adding he couldn’t recall Rolling Pines programming a similar event.
Still, timing is everything, he said.
"This seems like a great idea — just a bad day to do it," Young said.
Contact News Bulletin Staff Writer Matthew Brown at 850-682-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @cnbMatthew.