First Baptist Church

The Big Give event at First Baptist Church in Cornwall, ON.

Article from the Standard-Freeholder Cornwall – August 10, 2021…

Cornwall’s First Baptist Church was the place to be on Saturday if you were in need of an extra shirt or a few cups.

The church — with an army of about 25 volunteers — organized their fourth annual Big Give event. Items that were collected all year were put out on several tables and were available for free to anyone who wanted them. Although it was well attended, Saturday’s event was actually the delayed date for the effort. It originally was to be held on the first Saturday of June, as it had been in previous years. “Because of COVID, it wasn’t permitted,” said First Baptist Church senior pastor Jim Drennan. “We just delayed it and we picked the first Saturday of August. We thought that it was a good time, as restrictions had been lifted.”

The pandemic also resulted in this year’s event featuring a tad less things — missing was the bouncy castle that used to welcome kids, the BBQ and the face painting. This year, it was just the giveaway table and a table for CHRI FM, a Canadian non-profit Christian radio stations. “It’s been mayhem but in a good way,” said Drennan. “We were supposed to open at 9 a.m., but we had people here at 8 a.m. We aren’t going to tell them to wait an hour so we started it early.” By 9:30 a.m., there was a constant flow of people attending the event. This year’s Big Give was the busiest one yet according to Drennan. “We didn’t have all the bells and whistles either,” he said. “We think that the timing is good — people want to go out, do something and go somewhere.”

In order to host the Big Give, the First Baptist Church has been collecting items all year. The event itself was established for churches to give back to their communities. “Year one was really good, as was the year after that,” said Drennan. “Last year, we weren’t sure, but people kept giving us stuff and they keep giving. We had more items this year than we’ve ever had. People have lots to give.”