Christian Family Day focuses on cross of Christ
July 20, 2004
St. Louis Cardinal players
mingle with fans, share their faith
ST. LOUIS – The cross of Jesus Christ, not the stardom of St. Louis Cardinals baseball players, was the focus of the 14th annual Christian Family Day celebration at Busch Stadium July 3.
The featured speaker, Joe White of Kanakuk Kamps, Branson, portrayed himself as the carpenter who had the job of building the cross for Jesus Christ. White did this as a skeptic who then became powerfully changed by the deity of Christ.
Four Cardinal players and one coach came to the cross to show their allegiance to the Savior. First baseman Albert Pujols, catcher Mike Matheny, outfielder So Taguchi and relief pitcher Cal Eldred stood publicly for Jesus along with first base coach Dave McKay. White responded by telling the players that when their fame has faded, all that will remain will be their families and the cross.
The day began at a St. Louis park, where 55 organizations representing 3,000 poor children and their leaders were fed lunch and entertained by games, clowns and Christian music. About 10,000 baseball cards featuring the testimonies of nine Cardinal players were handed out. Scott Terry, a former Cardinal pitcher who currently serves as an analyst for KPLR-TV, and Cardinals catcher Cody McKay, signed autographs for the children.
A total of 40,000 testimony cards were given out on the day, both before and after the game with the Seattle Mariners. When the game was over, KPLR-TV sportscaster Bob Carpenter welcomed about 14,000 fans as they moved toward the Cardinals dugout. Carpenter has served as the master of ceremonies for Christian Family Day since 1996.
Twelve poor children had the joy of being on the field and receiving gifts from honorary chairman McGraw Milhaven as well as Cardinal wives Emiko Taguchi, Deidre Pujols and Christi Eldred. New Creation, a Christian praise band from St. Louis, performed at the event.
Judy Boen, a member of West County Community Church, Wildwood, a Missouri Baptist Convention church, is the founder/organizer of Christian Family Day. She is excited about the level of support she has received from Southern Baptist congregations in and around St. Louis.
“If it wasn’t for the Baptist churches, Christian Family Day wouldn’t be anything,” Boen said.