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In response to graffiti at Southside church
Ping pong is part of the activities at FUN nights at Southside Christian Church. - photo by Bulletin file photo
Editor Manteca Bulletin,
One part of me is truly appalled, disgusted, and sickened that someone would deface a sacred place of honor in this community for more than 50 years, Southside Christian Church, 314 Locust Avenue, Manteca.  But on the other hand another part of me realizes we are faced everyday with the grim realities of the depravity of gangs, and the impacts of their foul acts of vandalism throughout our community.” We, as a congregation, are very grieved to see this kind of conduct of hostility toward us, but we are vowed more than ever before to seek peaceful and prayerful resolutions to this kind of conduct. These types of activities are meant to discourage us.  But instead of being angry, bitter, and afraid, I would like to see us come together and pray even the more so for those who obviously need prayer in their lives.  I hope that whoever is responsible for this will know that we still love you, and there’s nothing that they can do to ever change that.  Instead of being discouraged, this has fueled the fire to know that what we are about in this community is being noticed; and this act of maliciousness will not change that.  

We have taken a lead role in the F.U.N. Club Program (Friday Unity Night in the Neighborhood) to educate our children against this type of behavior.  We want the children in this community to know a better way of life than gangs, drugs, crime, alcohol, and tobacco.  We want our children to be strong and healthy; and we want them to be educated and to finish high school, and go on to college and be productive men and women in our communities.  I hope that people will take this as a lesson that this type of vandalism will not be tolerated.  Our hopes and dreams of a community free from this nonsense can be a reality if we continue to be vigilant, pay attention to what’s going on around our houses, allies, and on our streets.  One of our mottos of the F.U.N. Club Program is “it takes a village to raise a child”.  We all have a responsibility to every child in the City of Manteca to help make this a place where kids can be kids.  A safe place where kids don’t have to be concerned about criminals, crime, and wrong-doings day and night.  

My biggest prayer is that this doesn’t have a negative impact on our Friday night program.  My biggest hope is that parents will see this as an opportunity to join forces with the F.U.N. Club Program and help to make this year’s summer sessions ones that our children and youth will remember for years to come.  We have a strong program this year with professionals coming in to talk to the participants from many aspects of life.  We have physicians, nurses, dentists, MADD, Manteca Police & Fire Departments, as well as services that many of our participants are very familiar with, i.e., Give Every Child a Chance, A Ray of Hope, and many others.  Everyday and all through the night I am constantly thinking of ways to help our children improve the quality of their lives in this neighborhood.  We’ve asked the Manteca Police Department to step up their patrol during our program hours, Fridays, during June, July, and August 6:00 P.M. – 9:00 P.M.  The last two sessions have been awesome, and we have 10 more left.  There are plenty of ways that concerned citizens can help.  As I explain to anyone who’ll listen, especially at our booth on Tuesdays at the Farmer’s Market in Manteca at Library Park, if you enjoy working directly with children, that’s available.  We always need people, especially healthy men to help with the set up and the break-down.  I bless the hearts of the many women volunteers we have in the program, but the F.U.N. Club Program can not function without willing able-bodied men.  The set up and break-down is labor intensive.  I thank God for their willingness to be of service in this way.  

If you are sick and tired of the direction our community is headed and desire to get busy and involved, you might consider the F.U.N. Club Program as a possibility. We can no longer afford to sit around and let other people do it when there is something for everybody at every age, young and old.  In order to be a volunteer for the F.U.N. Club Program you must be 16 years and older.  Participants and volunteers must complete an enrollment application.  

The program is free to participants.  Please plan to come early on Fridays between 5:30 and 6 p.m. for registration.  If you wish more information you may visit us at, or contact Quincy McClain, Executive Director, at (209) 275-2154.  We are located at FUN Club Center 314 Locust Ave., Manteca, CA.
Quincy McClain
Pastor, Southside Christian Church
Executive Director FUN Club