Setting young hearts on fire

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Herds of people will make their way across a pasture in Verbena Aug. 23 for En Fuego, an annual festival of Christian praise music.

Numerous Shelby County churches have made their way to the event with youth groups for the past several years. Clay Farrington from Calera First United Methodist took a group last year.

“Its an all-day concert but in a huge field out in the middle of no where,” Farrington said.

The event brings in speakers and Christian bands that play to a ground of more than 25,000. Many church leaders say the kids enjoy the atmosphere and fellowship.

Youth minister Robert Hope from Concord Baptist in Calera said the event is a unique spiritual experience.

“It’s a free event and good for our students to hear those types of musical influences,” Hope said. “It’s pretty much a cow pasture but its filled with people all there for one purpose — letting God ignite a passion inside our souls.”

Hope said members of the church’s youth group attends each year to hear nationally-known Christian acts like Barlow Girl and local acts like Thalon, who hail from Clanton.

This year’s speaker is Tony Nolan, the author of “Faith Fuel — a refueling journey.” Nolan’s message, along with counselors set up throughout the venue also offer students another way to deal with problems in their lives and possibly make the decision to follow the Bible’s message.

Hope said this aspect is the most compelling of the event.

“The kids actually become counselors themselves, helping out the other students who feel a strong impact from the message and music,” Hope said.

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