Donut Man featured at Home Fest at First

First Presbyterian Church’s celebration next week is all about bringing people “home.”

The church will host Home Fest at First with doors opening at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at 1111 Fifth Ave. N.

Rob Evans, the Donut Man, will perform at 4 p.m. in a concert especially for 3- to 10-year-olds.

The 641 Project, a band from Marshalltown, will take the stage at 7 p.m. on Aug. 28, with a wide variety of Christian rock and worship music especially geared towards teens and adults.

The goal is to bring people “home” to the church, said Laura Stover, Christian education director.

Stover said the church was seeking a way to bring a lot of families they haven’t seen for a long time “back home” to the church, and to meet the neighbors who may never have “come home into a church.”

“So we thought, what could we offer outside, so it’s not like having to come into a building, that would make you curious and want to come meet people, and learn a little bit more about your neighbors?” Stover said.

The church serves 75 families through its Kids Zone daycare, so it wanted someone very kid-friendly.

“I said I’d want to invite the Donut Man. And nobody in the room knew who he was except me. So I had to do quite a sales pitch first,” she said.

Stover said she’s used the Donut Man’s songs with her own kids, who are grown up now, as well as with the kids who come to church.

“Now I use them in my Sunday School program, in my after school program, at the Kids Zone preschool,” she said.

The 641 Project is made of five different youth pastors, she said.

“They love playing music for a cause, to help you raise money,” Stover said. “We said we want to raise money this weekend for those who do not have a place to call home.”

The concerts are free, but a freewill donation will be taken to benefit Dodger Academy, which helps kids who can’t go home right after school because no one is home.

“We thought we’d go with the school kids first, because there’s so many of them that couldn’t even qualify to stay, so they did go home to an empty home,” she said.

The event will feature games and activities before the concerts, free food, and free doughnuts.

There will also be a free movie shown both inside and outside following the concert.