End Time Ministries International gave away more than 900 backpacks full of school supplies to Madison-area kids as they hosted a Back 2 School Giveaway and mini-carnival on Aug. 14. The event took place on the End Time Ministries church grounds on Madison’s west side.
“We wanted to give the kids a fun day and make sure that they had the proper things to be ready for school,” Bishop Godfrey Stubbs of End Time Ministries International tells Madison365. “We just wanted to give back something to the community.
“I feel that an event like this is very important because we are still in a pandemic and parents are still struggling financially. Our team just wanted to take that burden off the parents and try to take a hold of that,” he adds. “As a church, we have been called to serve the community and this is one way we can serve and one way we can give back and embrace the community.”
Bishop Stubbs, who was born and raised in the Bahamas, is the senior pastor of End Time Ministries International, a church that began as an extension of vacation Bible school in the Bridge Lake Point Neighborhood and legally and officially became officially known as End Time Missionary Baptist Church in the summer of 2003.
“We’ve always wanted to hold a big event like this at End Time. We did it on a smaller level years ago – 50 backpacks that we got from the 100 Black Men of Madison that we distributed. But this was huge,” Stubbs says. “It was an opportunity to touch the community at large regardless of wherever they come from – north, south, east, west Madison. It was cool to see so many children so happy and to receive a gift to go back to school with.”
At the event, there was a musician, DJ Anthony Hewitt, performing a mini-concert on the church grounds, and some funny characters in costumes for the kids. There was a bouncy castle, a waterslide, hula hoops and a dunk tank where kids could throw a ball and try to get some of the church leaders wet. Was Bishop Stubbs one of them?
“Haha. No. I recused myself from that one because I had to preach on Sunday. They wanted me to go in the tank, though,” Stubbs laughs.
After they got their backpacks, the kids enjoyed cotton candy, popcorn, snowcones, corndogs, hot dogs and a variety of beverages.
EndTime Ministries ordered 1,300 backpacks for the event and Stubbs says that they still have a few hundred backpacks left. If you still need a backpack for school this fall, you can come to EndTime Ministries, 15 Ellis Potter Court in Madison, and pick one up or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other partners for the Back 2 School event included Families Back to the Table and Warming Hands Residential Services.
“We all came together and strategized and put our fundings together,” Stubbs says. “We had a budget for $10,000 and we went over it a little but we didn’t mind because we really wanted to be a blessing for the children.”
Stubbs says he is looking forward to hosting uplifting events like this in the future.
“We felt really good to be able to assist a child. For this event, for me, I felt like I was a kid,” Stubbs says. “I was so excited to see the kids excited … and not just the kids, but the parents excited. So, for me, I became a kid. I became a big kid. The only thing I didn’t do was the dunk tank.
“Just to see those kids smiling and having fun. That was so rewarding. I felt good,” he adds. “I went home that evening after the event so happy.”