Nothing scary at Hallelujah House as faith, family fun on display
By Hugh Fisher
The moon is out. The leaves are orange and gold; pumpkins grin from doorsteps.
But at the Hallelujah House fall carnival, tour guide Sandy Howell reassured kids and families: “There’s nothing scary here.”
No tricks, but only treats awaited the crowd that had gathered for the 10th annual fall carnival hosted by World Hope Worship Center on Mooresville Road.
As a testament to its popularity, more than 200 people walked through the gates in the first half hour they were open.
“For the first night, that’s great,” Associate Pastor Mike Smith said.
Smith helps coordinate the event along with about 100 volunteers, mostly church members.
The three-night festival is billed as a safe, family-friendly alternative to Halloween trick-or-treating.
“We’ve got games, candy, bounce houses, food and fun,” Smith said.
Part of the event’s appeal is its low cost. Admission, games and treats are free; food, including hot dogs and lemonade, is sold for a modest fee.
Nancy Hall brought sons Dillon, 6, and Michael, 11.
“We always come here to the church and do this,” she said. “It’s good for the kids.”
Dillon and Michael had just traded in their scorecards, full of points earned playing games, and picked florescent glowsticks from the prize table.
There’s lots to do at Hallelujah House.
In addition to games and refreshments, families can enjoy a half-mile hayride through the church property and visit favorite scenes and characters from the Bible.
At Noah’s Ark, sheep and other animals wait to be fed and petted.
Moses stands nearby with the Ten Commandments.
And the audience has a chance to help David take on Goliath.
Jonah, fresh from the belly of the whale, reminds visitors to listen to God before moving on to Nineveh.
“I’ve got bigger fish to fry!” he says.
But the chief message of the night, Howell said, is the salvation story.
The death and resurrection of Jesus are, as always, a part of the hayride.
“Our prayer is that you know how much Jesus loves you,” Howell said to the group she led on the hayride.
Ronnie and Chris Totten, who helped found the event 10 years ago, visited last night and took their daughters on the hayride.
“I love it because it’s so important to present a safe alternative to all of the scare houses that aren’t good for young kids,” Ronnie said.
Katrina Cowger, wife of lead pastor David Cowger, said that in the decade Hallelujah House has operated, more than 10,000 people must have passed through the grounds.
“This church has a great history of reaching out to families,” she said.
Hallelujah House continues tonight and Saturday from 7 to 9 p.m. at 2203 Mooresville Road.
For more information, phone 704-636-9159.