Gary Hale and Chrissy Rummel are busy preparing for the second annual nondenominational event designed to help people turn their lives around and experience hope and healing through the Lord.
The two-day event, called The Flood, will be held at Sandyvale Memorial Gardens and Conservancy at 80 Hickory St. in Johnstown.
It will start at 6 p.m. July 18 with a youth rally. The main event will be held from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 19.
The event is sponsored by the Cornerstone Leadership Foundation, a nonprofit with a goal of fostering Christian leadership in Johnstown, Hale said.
About 200 people attended last year’s event at Peoples Natural Gas Park downtown. The event is attracting more support from churches this year, so a larger venue was needed.
About 500 to 1,000 men, women and children are expected to attend this year, Hale said.
The event is designed to honor God and bring churches and people together to help Johnstown and the surrounding area change the spiritual atmosphere, Hale said.
“The current atmosphere, and you don’t have to be spiritual to see it, is that people are on heroin like never before,” Hale said.
There also are robberies to support drug habits, shootings and murders, he said.
“There is a lack of hope in having a better life by some people,” Hale said. “They don’t have a job, and that is one reason I think some people have given up and turned to drugs.
“We want to spark a new life in our city and the surrounding area that brings the hope of a better tomorrow that only God can give.”
The event will change people’s lives for the better, said Hale, a member of Oakland United Methodist Church who has been on many mission trips to Africa.
There is no charge to attend the event, and there will be free food and refreshments thanks to area businesses.
There also will be Christian entertainment, games for children and other activities.
Rummel said they named the event The Flood because of Johnstown’s history of floods and because they are trying to reclaim the word “flood” to mean something positive.
Last year’s event went well, she said. The children had plenty of fun and the people who attended the time of encouragement and prayer session felt ready to lead a new life, she said.
“God says in the Bible that he has plans to see his people prosper and not be harmed,” said Rummel, a member of Oakland United Methodist Church.
“God’s plans give us hope for the future. That’s the message for the Johnstown area.”
Rummel believes Johnstown and the surrounding area have an amazing opportunity because it will be the place where people want to live.
“They can come here and be prosperous,” she said.
For their efforts, Hale, of Geistown, and Rummel, of Richland Township, are the Persons of the Week.
People or ministries wishing to help in any way with the event can get in touch with Hale at 619-8257 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more details about the event, visit www.thefloodevent.com.
Frank Sojak is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/FrankNews10.
Tribune-Democrat editors select a Person of the Week from nominations made by readers. To nominate someone, call 532-5058, 24 hours a day.