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A fellowship of churches

The Firemen’s Sports Arena became a place Saturday where men 15 years old and older from more than 20 churches in the region came together to compete on the softball field and enjoy Christian fellowship with many families in attendance.

The event was an all-star softball game pitting the best of the Farmville Church Softball League against the best of the Powhatan Church Softball League for the third year.

To view more photos of the game, click here.

Before the game began, the commissioners of both leagues addressed the crowd of approximately 150 people. Farmville league commissioner and Calvary Chapel Farmville pastor Marv Fisher gave a brief history of the event.

“Many of us were invited quite a few years ago to play softball down in their league,” he said of Powhatan. “They ran the only modified fast pitch league in the area, so we were traveling an hour down to Powhatan for, I don’t know, six or seven years and played with some of these guys and really, really enjoyed that fellowship, that camaraderie and just developed some great friendships.”

After Farmville started its own league, Fisher and Powhatan league commissioner Darryl Stewart came up with a plan to help keep those friendships alive through an all-star game between the two leagues.

“It is just such a great opportunity for us to stay connected to them, get back together,” Stewart said early on during Saturday’s game. “The first year we came out here, there was probably close to 200 people watching. It was crazy.”

He said that he and the Powhatan league clearly understood at that point how important the event was.

“And as you can see by all the people that turned out to watch it, it’s a great thing, so we plan on keeping it going as long as we can,” he said.

Further addressing the reason for the leagues and the all-star game, Fisher noted it was about more than simply a love for the game.

“It’s for camaraderie among our fellowship of churches,” he said. “What a blessing it is to have brothers in the Lord. We’re going to play hard, we’re going to give it our all. We’re going to try hard to beat these guys, and they’re going to try hard to beat us, but at the end of the day, we’re brothers and we’re friends, and these relationships go back a long way.”

Fisher said that this year, the Farmville league is comprised of seven teams, with as many as 13 churches represented. Stewart noted the Powhatan league has players from 10 or 15 different churches making up six teams.

For the first time in the three-year history of the all-star game, Farmville took home the trophy Saturday, winning 13-6.

Food, including pork barbecue, was sold at the event, with the proceeds going to a family called to serve God in central Asia.

The regular season of the Farmville Church Softball League features a doubleheader of games played each Friday and Saturday night at the Firemen’s Sports Arena until Aug. 5.