Local church turns big bang into big bucks

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You know the 4th of July is close when you see the fireworks tents go up. For customers, it means a big bang. For those running them, it means big bucks!

But an Indianapolis church is turning all the fanfare into faith.

When customers step into a fireworks tent, they see sparklers, bottle rockets and firecrackers. But Apostolic Christian Church sees an explosion of cash - turning your money into missions for the Lord.

"What are you looking for?" asks Cedric McConnell.

"Fireworks," responds a customer.

"Well you came to the right place," said McConnell.

And McConnell knows fireworks. He's sold them for 18 years.

"For more kid-friendly stuff, that's our center table. The stuff around the outside is going to shoot up into the sky and make pretty colors," advises McConnell to a customer.

He and his wife, Katie, set up a tent in the Brownsburg Walmart parking lot and sell away.

They're not doing it for themselves, but for their church. Cedric is the youth pastor at Apostolic Christian Church on Indy's south side.

"This is us going bowling," explained McConnell, showing photos of youth events.

Much of the money made funds their youth ministries, "Youth on Fire."

"Just try and and help them to try and help them to grow in their relationship with Christ," said McConnell.

But, selling fireworks has its ups...

"Usually the last day of VBS, we celebrate with fireworks at the very end and they enjoy that," said Katie.

...and downs.

"We've been in there and it's been super-high winds. We've been in there holding to bars, holding the tent down," recall the McConnells.

The youth aren't the only ones who benefit - so do the missionaries. This year, the church is sending about a dozen people to Haiti.

"We're looking to build churches as well as hold crusades and revivals," said Senior Pastor Nathan Cannon.

Cannon heads that up and this year fireworks money will provide a big bang in their funding.

"We feel like when we look around this tent, we don't just see things that go up in the air and explode, but we see hope," said Cannon.

This is a 24/7 operation. Six church members work in shifts around the clock, camping out in a tent in the heat, the wind and the rain. Ask them if it's worth it and without hesitation, you get a resounding "Yes."