The chill in the air Sunday evening didn’t keep members of First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville from bringing Christmas cheer to the neighborhoods around the church with some caroling.
The night started off with a fellowship meal that included pizza and other snacks for the church members and their families. Everyone at the South Enota Drive church then gathered on two buses and rode to nearby neighborhoods to go Christmas caroling.
"We have families from the church of all ages to fellowship together and go out to the neighborhood to spread Christmas cheer," said the Rev. Penny Hill, the family minister at First Presbyterian. "We want the neighborhoods to know we’re here and that we have a focus on the family."
The church is starting new classes soon, and members said they wanted to invite their neighbors to come and take part of their new classes and programs for families.
"It’s important the people in the community know that we’re here," said Shon Peppers. "We have several outreach programs."
Many families with kids of all ages showed up to take part in the fellowship and Christmas caroling.
There was an excitement in the air as the families gathered together and walked up to each house in the neighborhood, ready to spread some Christmas cheer.
Scot Stewart, also a First Presbyterian member, said he wanted to participate to "spread the love of Christ."
"We’re trying to get the family ministry revved up," he added.
Sunday evening’s caroling was a new event for the church members. Families and workers from the Child Development Center, a day care center at the church, also lent their voices to Sunday evening’s caroling.
"I hope that some of the families will come closer tonight and form some memories," Hill said.
Stewart said his favorite part of caroling was "being with family."
First Presbyterian member Glen Lawson said he took part in the caroling "to spread Christmas cheer to some of our neighbors."
He added that "the look on people’s faces when you come to the door," was his favorite part of Christmas caroling.
"It’s like a Christmas present," Lawson said.