COLUMBIA, Mo.—First Baptist Church of Columbia will host a fundraising event beginning Sunday, Sept. 27 to benefit Room at the Inn, a community-based effort to provide shelter and blankets for those in need during extremely cold winter nights.

“Night Under the Stars” is geared toward youth and college students; its purpose is to expose the effects of poverty and homelessness in our community. Students have the opportunity to eat dinner at a mock soup kitchen, learn from people who were formerly homeless and sleep in a simulated shelter.

Now in its seventh year, Room at the Inn is an interfaith initiative that grants a warm night’s stay to those in Columbia who have nowhere else to turn. Two years ago, First Baptist Church Youth Pastor Michael McEntyre learned that teenagers who wanted an opportunity to help out at Room at the Inn were unable to do so; you have to be 18 years old to serve. McEntyre wanted to get youth involved and engaged, and “Night Under the Stars” was born. In 2014, the event raised $1,000 for Room at the Inn.

The event starts at 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 27 and runs through 9 a.m. Monday, Sept. 28 at First Baptist Church, 1112 E. Broadway. Participants will travel to various locations within walking distance of the church as part of the experience.

Founded in 1823, First Baptist Church is a historic, vibrant community of faith located in the heart of downtown Columbia. Carol McEntyre has served as Pastor since 2012. Visit First Baptist Church online at or call 573-449-1149.