West Charlotte pastor hopes to promote community involvement with upcoming food truck event

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) — Pastor Shon Hagwood of Mount Zion First Missionary Baptist Church hopes an upcoming event will help connect his congregation with more people in the community where his church is located.

For several years, the church has been located just off the intersection of Remount Road and West Boulevard in West Charlotte. Although it is a bustling area, Hagwood said many people in the surrounding community do not associate with the church.

April Berry is the chair of community engagement and outreach assistant for the church. She shared a similar message regarding the congregation’s connection to the neighborhood.

“We have a lot of people passing through here who don’t usually attend our church,” Berry said.

Hagwood noted that the congregation is now trying to improve its ties with the community.

“We try to sew and connect the community with our church and also vice versa because we kind of feel there’s a disconnect that’s there,” the pastor said.

He noted that there had been nefarious community activities near the church. Just two months ago, a Boost Mobile store opposite the church was robbed at gunpoint.

“There were murders literally right on that block, like literally right across the street,” Hagwood said. “Those are things that have really upset me because we don’t want to see it especially as a church. The Church always tries to promote life, not death.

First Mount Zion will host several food trucks on its campus for a special event next Saturday. Community members are welcome. Hagwood and Berry hope the event will help connect the congregation to the surrounding neighborhood.

“As they’re driving down the street, they might say, ‘hey, this food reminds me of home’ or ‘this is from my culture. Let me go over there and see what they’re talking about’ or ‘Hey , that smells good. Let’s see what’s going on over there at the church,” Berry explained.

The pastor explained that he will not try to impose religion on people attending the event.

“It’s not about ‘we want to tell you Jesus and here he is and hit you with the Bible.’ It’s not that. We want to let you know who we are based on this event, so whenever you want to walk into these doors, if we have anything, whether it’s service or we’re cooking, or we have food trucks, that you can come in,” Hagwood said.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Visitors will have to pay for food provided by food trucks. The church is located at 1515 Remount Road in Charlotte.

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