50-foot Banana Split shared by faith group

See why it really does “take a village” to make, and enjoy, a mammoth dessert …

Members of the Brentwood Darlington Bethel Assembly of God church work quickly to build a real, big banana split to share with their neighbors – before the hot weather melted it!

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Faith-based organizations have tried many ways to connect with neighbors who surround their places of worship.

On September 14, the pastors of the Bethel Assembly of God church in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood tried something new – a promotional idea just right for a warm summertime Sunday afternoon.

“Today, we’re creating a 50-foot long banana split, to share with people here in the neighborhood,” explained Pastor Gary Russell.

Gary Russell and Ryan Snyder, pastors of the Brentwood-Darlington Bethel Assembly of God church, dig in to their servings of the 50-foot banana split.

Church members scooped vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate ice cream on halved bananas into a food-wrap-lined wooden trough in the church’s back yard, at SE 72nd Avenue and Duke Street. A large tree shaded the mighty dessert from the sun, giving time for other helpers to apply mounds of fluffy whipped topping, followed by maraschino cherries.

They’d been working on the giant dessert – led by their Youth Pastor. Ryan Snyder – for about three weeks, Russell said.

“It takes a village” to make, and enjoy, a 50-foot banana split, like the one the Brentwood-Darlington Bethel Assembly of God church created and shared with neighbors.

“We’re just letting people in the neighborhood know that we care about them,” Russell told East Portland News and smiled. “Part of our purpose is letting people know that our church is about bringing more true joy into people’s lives. And, everything in life to seems to go a little better when ice cream is involved!”

Neighbors, friends and church members didn’t have to be asked twice to “dig in” to a section of the really, really, big banana split!

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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