Second annual Christian Business Expo set for Thursday

Expo will highlight vendors with belief in Christian principles

Within 48 hours after the first Christian Business Expo in 2012, the number of booth signups had doubled for the second expo, which is set for Thursday.

“God has given us a double portion,” said Vickie Davenport, station manager for KNLJ, the local Christian Television Network station which organized the event.

Nearly $3,000 in gift cards and merchandise will be given away during the eight-hour event, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Jefferson City. That’s up from $1,300 a year ago.

The grand prize, for which one must be present to win, is four field box seats to a St. Louis Cardinal 2014 baseball game.

The Major League Baseball organization was impressed with the station’s promotion of Christian Day at the Ballpark, Davenport said.

“The bottom line is if people don’t support events geared toward the believer, they will go away,” Davenport said.

That is the same vision the station had to host the event.

“The idea is to bring in the public, to see who their local Christian businesses are,” Davenport said. “It’s about supporting the building of the kingdom of God.”

Among the 45 booths this year include insurance, health and fitness, radio and television stations, parochial schools, home improvement, auto repair, mortgage and financial, music and photography, salons, bed and breakfast, jewelry and food.

About 150 visitors mingled through the 20 booths last year. Just as the vendor numbers doubled, Davenport hopes visitor numbers will more than double.

Unlike the station, which pronounces its faith in its product, many of the businesses that will be set up at the expo provide secular services.

“Not everything will have a fish or cross on it,” Davenport said.

What all vendors will have in common is a belief in Christian principles.

“I’m a big proponent of supporting local,” Davenport said.

In addition to supporting people of like-minded faith, calling on locally owned small businesses or franchises returns more of that money into the community.

The event is not a fundraiser, but the television station hopes it might raise awareness of its presence in Central Missouri.

“It doesn’t benefit us directly,” Davenport said. “But every time a Christian business goes down, we haven’t supported them enough.”

For Davenport, what really set apart last year’s event from other business expositions was at the end of the day, visitors and vendors alike stopped what they were doing to pray for a young man looking for a job.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” she said.

That highlight reinforced the expo’s purpose, based on Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Call 573-896-5105 or e-mail to knljtv@yahoo.com for more information.

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