Apart but together in faith

Fields of Faith takes on a new layout due to COVID-19

Church+on+the+Rock%27s+youth+pastor+leads+during+worship.+Churches+gathered+together+on+Oct.+21+for+Fields+of+Faith+via+livestream.+

Photo by Braylen Garren

Church on the Rock’s youth pastor leads during worship. Churches gathered together on Oct. 21 for Fields of Faith via livestream.

Story by Graci Henard, staff writer

Students’ hands are raised and voices can be heard over the worship music. Students from all over unite for one purpose: to hear the gospel preached by their peers. Wednesday marked the fifth annual Fields of Faith in Texarkana. However, this year was like never before. 

“[The goal of Fields of Faith is] to give people an opportunity to give their life to Christ for the first time,” said Daniel Smith, Beech Street Baptist Church Student Minister. “It allows a space for Christians to share their testimony so their friends and people in their schools can see what God’s done in their life.”

At this event, students can hear the message of Jesus Christ through students in the region and have the opportunity to ask Jesus to enter into their lives. 

“The ultimate goal of Fields of Faith is to give people the gospel in hopes of their salvation,” sophomore Andrew Wommack said. “It is also important for those who are already saved to be reminded of what their priorities are.”

The past four years, the event was hosted at Pleasant Grove’s Hawk Stadium. Due to COVID-19, the FOF directors had to get creative so that the event could continue within the coronavirus protocols. The 2020 Fields of Faith was not in one location but at multiple “satellite” locations where the service was live-streamed. 

“I’m happy that we still had Fields of Faith despite COVID,” senior Malley Wallace said. “I like having a more personal connection with everyone around me since we had it as a youth group in our own church.” 

The theme for Fields of Faith 2020 was “house parties.” To go with this theme, Smith filled the student ministry worship center with couches.

“We wanted it to be a different setup because we knew that the gospel was going to be clearly laid out and presented,” said Jordan Day, the Beech Street Associate Student Minister. “We wanted kids to feel at home and able to relax, so there would be a little bit more clarity in what they were hearing. It was for ambiance.”

Despite the differences in 2020 FOF from previous years, Chicken Express was still provided for students. In the past, the food was donated by the restaurant, but churches decided to have the meals catered due to the number of smaller groups. 

“Chicken Express usually donates 500 boxes of chicken to people every year but with the pandemic, they were on the hook for a lot more chicken because every house party was providing chicken,” Smith said.

Many expressed the idea that the night was more personal because of the smaller amount of people and the ability to be with their youth group. Smaller groups made it easier for students to feel more comfortable and it allowed for less distractions. 

“It was different in a way that it was smaller, so it could be more individualized,” Genoa Central senior Cole Gies said. “People weren’t as nervous to get up and go down [during the invitation] because they were at their own church.” 

Despite the positives of the “house party” theme that were expressed, it was always added that the student preferred the layout of Fields of Faith from previous years. 

“There is an awe factor about being in the stadium and just seeing God working on so many people,” Wommack said. “It shows you the power of God.”

Even though Fields of Faith looked a little different this year, students made the best of the situation and enjoyed the annual event, even if it was not at Hawk Stadium.

“I believe God is going to work in our lives, no matter the location,” Wallace said.