Members of Bethel Baptist Church in Kensington, who came out this weekend to the church’s free family movie night, got more than just a special national screening of the documentary Two Hats.
The film was almost overshadowed by an auction that featured a wide range of items. Nothing, however, could overshadow the reason behind the evening, which was a night for families to enjoy time together.
Bethel Baptist Church, located at 2210 E. Susquehanna Ave., is the same building as Bethel Baptist Academy, a small Christian school with about 70 students. The movie night came about courtesy of a popular social networking site.
“We saw a trailer for the film and Andrew Garcia, one of the producers, posted on his Twitter that they were looking for places to hold national movie nights,” said Joe White, youth pastor and school administrator at Bethel Baptist Academy. “I thought it was a good idea,” White said.
The documentary was a Christian faith-based film about an American couple from Idaho, who gave up their life of comfort to live as missionaries in the remote jungles of Papua, New Guinea. The movie was shown in the church side of Bethel Baptist, while the auction was held in the school side.
Josie Bouldin has been a member of the church for five years. She said the items being auctioned off were all donated, and the proceeds were going back to the church.
“The money raised is going towards senior alumni and an anniversary banquet celebrating 32 years of Bethel Baptist Church and school,” Bouldin said. “The school is grades K through 12, and there are also adult night classes that teach the Bible.”
Those who attended could buy raffle tickets for 50 cents a piece, but had to follow the rules of the Chinese-style auction. The more valuable the item, the more tickets you had to throw in for a chance to win, and there was more than enough to pick from.
Jewelry, board games, shirts, jackets, lamps, Christmas decorations and gift baskets all filled up the tables. There was a homemade cake, called Death by Chocolate, and even hockey pucks autographed by current Flyers’ rookie Eric Wellwood and former goalie Ray Emery. If you wanted a chance to win a signed puck, it required parting with at least five of your tickets.
As members talked and scattered their tickets around waiting for the movie to start, the church staff served cheese steaks and hotdogs. A few gentlemen were discussing the Mega Millions jackpot drawing, which swelled over $640 million.
“You got a better chance of getting struck by lightning,” said Bob Raab, a member of Bethel Baptist Church for more than 30 years.
By 7:30 p.m., the movie was ready to begin, but everyone was having too good a time to notice. White had to repeat himself a few times before people started filtering into the church.
“Even though all our members come from different backgrounds and experiences, we are a real family and this was a perfect chance to get us all together,” White said. “I’ve been in the neighborhood for 25 years, and on the staff for eight. We try to continue to maintain a safe environment here for members and their families.”