Get ready for a block party, Mansfield!
The Oasis of Love Church, 190 Chester Ave., will host its sixth annual community party taking place in and around Walter Jordan Drive, Raymond Avenue, Grant Street and Lida Streeet Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. The event is open to the public.
“Our motto is ‘Unity in Community,’” said Oasis of Love Pastor Raymond Cochran, Jr. “It’s just a time for everyone to come together. Whites. Black people. Just for a day of peace. It’s really just a chance for us to give back.”
The church will provide free food, backpacks, school supplies, haircuts, fun games for kids and more. Cochran said last year the church was recognized by the Ohio House of Representatives for its service to the community and surrounding area.
“Everything is free, from school bags to school supplies to free haircuts,” Cochran said. “There are gifts and games for the kids. We also have a lot of police and city officers. It’s really grown over the years.”
Cochran said the idea for the block party came from the church’s former pastor, Dr. Walter Jordan.
“Our former pastor, Dr. Walter Jordan, had the vision for it,” Cochran said. “We are just blessed to carry on. He passed away in 2020 and when that happened it was really a blow not only to the church but to the community. But we were able to continue that vision that he had and it just keeps growing every year.”
Cochran noted that they have a number of sponsors for the event, which will also include health programs for seniors. He then talked about the general importance of the block party.
“I think this type of event brings understanding,” Cochran said. “A lot of times people have their opinion on people who don’t look like them or who they don’t live with, but when you really come together like that, it really helps to lower the racial tension. There’s a lot going on. in this country with racial tension for the past two years.
“It really gives everyone from all walks of life a chance to come together. I think it’s better for the future when you can have something like this where there’s a gathering, there’s a bigger respect you leave with, regardless if someone looks like you or has a different life journey.”