Gateway loves families. We know that families take many forms in Tipton County. Not all children live with their birth parents, many live with foster or adoptive families.
Join the Community
Foster and Adoptive Parents, if you’re looking for others who are on this journey, we have a group for you. We’re foster parents, too! The easiest way to connect is to join the FaceBook group, Fostering Love for Tipton.
Gather with us at Gateway’s Atoka Campus on the first Wednesday of each month from 6:30 -7:30. Come. You can plan and attend training certification classes, family events, and other fun stuff. We have care and teaching for children ages birth – 5th grade. Pre-Register kids here. Students in 6th-12th gather at Gateway’s Munford Campus at the same time. for more information about that, click here.
“Pure and faultless religion is to care for the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
For information about the Tennessee Baptist Children’s Homes, click here. For information on becoming a Tennessee Foster Parent, click here.
Not everyone is called to be a foster parent.
As a matter of fact, most people in the Church won’t ever bring a child into their homes, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have an essential and necessary role to play in the lives of foster families. While we aren’t all called to do the same thing, we are all certainly created to do something. That’s how the Body of Christ works. For individuals who would like to help with this ministry, here are a few things that are needed:
Pray for families in our church who are currently fostering. Pray for families to answer the call to foster.
2. Donate Clothes
Many times children enter foster care with no extra clothes. Consider donating gently used children clothing in sizes newborn through teens. Collection boxes are located near kids check-in at all Gateway campuses.
3. Wednesday Childcare
Volunteer the first Wednesday of the month to help with childcare during the group gathering time.
Sometimes we find ourselves in the middle of a bad story and we have no idea how it is going to turn out. Maybe you’ve thought, “There is no way that it could ever turn around or turn out well.” There are so many people in our church dealing with tragic circumstances. Death, cancer, difficult stages in life. So, in today’s message, Steve takes us to a passage in the Bible where the writer asks the very question that we do at times: “Do things ever get better?”
This message is from Steve Carpenter at our Atoka Campus. If you missed a message or want to hear it again, listen on-line or tune in to our podcast.
School’s out for summer and raising a family is expensive! I’ve gathered a list of free or low cost FUN things to do together. These activities are in (or near) Tipton County. Where possible, I included a link to the organization that is hosting for more information.
Help me keep this list up to date! If you know of a free (or cheap) fun activity for families, drop the details and a link in the comments.
MORE DETAILS: This partnership event hosted by Gateway Baptist Church and the Town of Atoka is a summer tradition in Atoka. Thousands of people attend for free food, activities, games, fireworks, music, and more!
VALENTINE PARK pavilion (can be reserved for free!), 2 playgrounds, nature trail & disc golf course, soccer fields, restrooms, plus a brand new dog park.
Not free, but worth mentioning:
The Munford Skating Rink is open every Friday night from 6pm-9pm. Skating is only $7/person and includes skate rental fee. When school is out (spring/summer/fall break), it’s $5 1pm-3pm during the week.
Park on the Square – relaxing place for downtown visitors
Patriot Park – airplane: skyhook attack bomber
Cobb Parr Memorial Park – AKA Castle Park, playground, pavilion, walking trail, picnic area, Covington BBQ fest
Frazier Park – 1/2 mile fitness trail, 3 playground areas, 2 lighted outdoor basketball courts, 2 picnic pavilions, In June there’s the Frazier Fun Fest and In July there’s the Frazier Alumni Association 4th of July Family Picnic
Museum/Nature Trail – free admission, tons of events, classes, May festival on May 5
I talked with Sharon Timbs, Assistant Director, and she has SO MANY programs! ALL FREE! The Library is a WONDERFUL place. 60+ this summer alone!! I’m going to list some of the programs below. Check out their website or their FaceBook page for information.
Preschool Story Time: every Wednesday at 10am
Kids Story Time: every Thursday 9am
MAKE IT AT YOUR LIBRARY -STEM crafts and projects,
Family Story Time
Story Walk at Tipton County Museum (May, June, July)
MORE DETAILS: Museum & Park entrance are FREE. During the blooming months this is a beautiful place to visit. The Master Gardners also host a guided tour of these beds. Watchtheir FaceBook page for details about the events.
Thanks to Jeff Gautney, Gateway’s Missions & Family Pastor for this tip!
WHEN: Thursday evenings
WHERE: Urban Air, Cordova
COST: $35 – family of 5
PLAN IT: Call 901-334-9993
MORE DETAILS: Jeff’s family of 5 jumped for 1 hour (which was plenty) plus enjoyed a pizza and water. Usual price for them was $60 for everyone to jump 1 hour, no food included. So while it’s not free, it IS a deal!
MORE DETAILS: Make memories and hunt 100 tiger statues all over Memphis. All you need is a great playlist and a map of the locations. Enjoy showing your kids the town. Stop and inspect the incredible art on the Tiger statues & get photos of your kids. (Tag me so I can see!)
Visit KidsBowlFree.com for a list of allll the facilities and programs. You just have to register. SO COOL!
Not Free, but worth mentioning:
Thanks for this info, Maegan Traynom! Worth mentioning with kids bowl free- you can add a family pass for about $20, which adds up to 4 adults to your summer pass. Parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles- you can bowl free as a family all summer! 😄 She’s done this at Andy B’s in Bartlett.
MORE DETAILS: Come early and have your kids sit right up front by the red carpet for a birds-eye view (ha!). Ducks march to and from the grand fountain in the lobby every day. There’s lots of pomp and circumstance.
They offer different freebies every day. Follow them on FaceBook for details. There are three locations in Atoka (Rosemark and Tracy), Covington (51 and Bert Johnson Avenue), and Ripley (51, across from Dairy Queen in Unique Properties parking lot).
Thanks to Julie Hartsfield for this recommendation! “Brownsville refuge/ Oneal lake in Haywood County (free) is great place for fishing, walking, picnicking, etc. There are maps at Oneal Lake of the rest of the refuge. There are tons of lakes and ponds to fish in and lots of driving trails to see wildlife. There is also a great museum not far from there at the interstate exit that’s free. It talks about Haywood County, the South, and Tina Turner. Fort Pillow State Park in Lauderdale County. It’s free. There are hiking trails, a lake where you can rent kayaks, paddle boards, etc. There is a free museum, a playground, places to picnic and a campground.”
Thanks to Nora O’Hara for sending the information about FREE MOVIES!
What would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments!