Revival ‘Ignite’ hopes to unite community for God-centered purpose
By SHELLY WILKISON
Fellowship Church Pastor Michael Wright believes “Liberty Hill is on the cusp of something spectacular.”
That’s why the church is sponsoring “Ignite” Liberty Hill, a four-day revival intended to “unite the community across religions, beliefs and demographic lines,” Wright said.
The revival, which features the preaching of Rev. Ryan Fontenot, pastor of The Mount Church in Keller, and the music of the Jeff Johnson Band of College Station, will be held at the Liberty Hill High School Auditorium.
Wright said the location was chosen because of its neutrality in hopes the event would attract people beyond the walls of Fellowship Church.
“It is neutral ground, a community location,” he said, adding that Fellowship Church paid to rent the facility where services will be held at 6 p.m. nightly Feb. 23-26.
Wright said “Ignite” was chosen as the name for the event because “that’s what we want to happen. I think the flames are burning here already. Other communities are looking here and saying great things are happening.”
He said Liberty Hill schools continue to attract new families to the area, and the community finds itself at the point where unity in purpose and direction will lay a foundation for greatness.
“Of course, I’m hoping God will be at the center of that,” he said. “Liberty Hill is different from other communities around us. People aren’t afraid to talk about God being at the center (of life here). Churches are pulling in same direction. God has a plan for us to lead.”
Wright said the four-day Ignite event could be a revival of the spirit that helped shaped early Liberty Hill.
He recalled the Loafer’s Glory Apostolic Church, which was organized in 1908 outside Liberty Hill after Wesleyan Holiness preacher George Sutton conducted a long revival there in a frame schoolhouse, which no longer exists. Tent revivals continued there for years drawing hundreds of people who found salvation. Historical references to Loafer’s Glory reported many parishoners alleged to have been cured of various illnesses and afflictions during the revivals.
The church, which closed its doors in 1930, was located off present-day US Highwy 183 in the southwest corner of the intersection of County Roads 202 and 207 just outside Liberty Hill. A Historical Marker stands at the location.
“Since that time (Loafer’s Glory revivals), Liberty Hill has had a spirit of revival and community,” Wright said. “This could be a continuation of what started there at Loafer’s Glory. Something happened there. Of course we don’t plan to die out (as the church did in 1930), but we are now on the cusp of what that started to be.”
Wright said the Liberty Hill of recent years has been going through “growing pains. But we have to go through them to get where God wants us to be.
“We haven’t been ready for the growth in some areas, which makes us acutely aware that no matter what we think, God continues to be in control of what’s going on here,” he continued. “You ain’t seen nothing yet. That’s where we are. And sometimes I think our vision may be too small.”
Wright said Liberty Hill could be the community “where God is the center for all we do.”
Liberty Hill High School students will hear Rev. Fontenot and the Jeff Johnson Band during a school assembly at 10 a.m. Tuesday. Wright said the pastor will talk about positive decision-making when he addresses students.
Fontenot, who has served in different roles in the ministry for some 20 years, is also founder of the Keller-based RAGE Ministries (Reaching A Generation Endangered). The orgnization’s audience is young people.
The Jeff Johnson Band is based in College Station, where it has a large following among Texas A&M University students. The group has five albums and receives frequent air time on Christian radio stations.