By Kevin Wilson: CNJ staff writer
When asked his favorite Bible verse, Sean Ferreira says he can’t possibly narrow it down to one, or two, or even eight.
But when it comes to the Jump Up religious procession planned for Friday, he finds Matthew 18:20 fits the bill perfectly.
The first-time event should work, according to the Bible, he said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
He’s confident many more will come to the event, a parade from 5:15 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday along Main and Pile streets between Second and Fifth Streets.
The event features a diesel trailer with a sound system, playing worship music as those in attendance follow the trailer along the parade route. Ferreira said the Bible has stories of processions in the cities of Israel, with people from neighboring cities able to hear the worship for miles.
That won’t be happening Friday. City regulations were put in place addressing noise, security, payment and cleanup.
Eric Dawson, the pastor of New Beginnings Church of God in Clovis, where Ferreira attends, said he expected some red tape because the Jump Up is such a new event.
“Things like this take time, and sometimes you’ve got to do a little convincing,” Dawson said. “I didn’t think it would be too bad of a battle.”
Getting approval took three times addressing the city commission, and abandonment of the first desired route along Main and Mitchell streets, which included residential areas. That proposal was tabled five weeks ago, and voted down unanimously three weeks ago.
There are no residential areas in the current route.
That stipulation, and the other conditions made in last Thursday’s motion, were the only way the event had a chance to get off the ground, Clovis Mayor Pro-Tem Randy Crowder said.
“This young man was not like the Chamber of Commerce doing a parade,” Crowder said. “He has no background, he has no experience. Because of it being voted down twice, the only way I could see to make a positive motion was to put in a lot of conditions.”
Ferreira said he’s found himself able to meet the city’s conditions, and he sees signs every day God is helping him out.
His first people for a diesel truck and sound system pulled out on him, but he was able to replace them with volunteers within two days.
Also, a few businesses have stepped forward to help with the project, which is largely financed by Ferreira — who tries to distance himself from any hint of self-promotion.
“There’s nobody’s name on it besides God,” he said.