Talk about your upcoming block party. We’ve had it every other year since 2006. The first year was 2003, under my dad (the Rev. Rudy Allen Sr., former pastor). It became such a huge undertaking, we had to do it every other year. It started out just for Columbus, but now we open it to Phenix City and Fort Benning. The last time, we had four bands with soldiers and we passed out survival bags. We have also opened it to the housing authority communities. We got permission to pass out fliers. We give away clothes, food and nonperishable groceries. It’s all free. We have hot dogs, hamburgers, snacks and sodas, and snow cones and games for kids. We also give away prizes. Grand prizes are a flat screen TV, a family-sized gas grill and monetary Visa card, and girls’ and boys’ bikes. It’s all totally funded by Revelation. Others have sent in donations, too.
How many do you expect? Maybe 1,500 people. One year we had 2,000. We want the community to know we’re here, we care and we want to give back. It’s a lot of work, but God provides. The clothes we give away are pressed and ironed. It’s not stuff you’d give to Goodwill. There’s also an evangelistic effort, and tents are set up where people can sit. We’re praying for mild weather.
Who’s in your family? My husband is Rev. Reginald Thompson. My parents are Gloria and Rudy.
Does Reginald have a church? No. He’s getting ready to get certified as a teacher. He’ll be in Muscogee County.
You were previously in Atlanta? Yes, for seven months. I was commuting. Reggie worked for Boy Scouts of America. He started looking at Revelation and said he knew I was supposed to be pastoring that church. One day he said, “Let’s go home.”
How’s Revelation doing? The church is growing. Everything my dad said before he retired has come to fruition. We’re growing numerically, spiritually and financially. He marvels at what goes on. He’s still very active. He teaches Sunday school.
What are you concerned about in the wider community? Schools. We’re Partners in Education with Marshall Middle School, and we continue our relationship with Farley Homes. We’ll see how the transition goes with putting Baker Middle in with Marshall. We already know the hardships at Marshall; but Mr. (Melvin) Blackwell is a go-getter, with vision and insight.
What do you do in your free time? We go to Atlanta, to dinner or to shop. We’ll go on vacation in June for about three weeks.
The “Jam for the Lamb” block party is 1-4 p.m. May 22 at Shirley Winston Park, 5025 Steam Mill Road.