The 2016 audience at Fields of Faith was more than 100 people. The leadership team for 2017 hopes to raise that number to at least 200. (Special to The Prairie Press)

Students worship together

Paris High School's Fellowship of Christian Athletes is getting ready to host the annual Fields of Faith.

It is a night of worship and fellowship put on by high school students for their fellow students and the rest of the community. Everyone is invited to attend and be uplifted, and a popular way for people to attend Fields of Faith is through churches bringing their youth groups.

Those attending can expect to hear live Christian music from high school students, including worship led by Frantic Utopia, several student testimonies and lessons provided by Bell Ridge’s youth minister Don Gordon and David Johns, associate pastor and youth minister at Community Bible Church. They can also anticipate being fed dinner by the club, as FCA always brings in pizza before the worship time.

Bryce Gladding, Emilee Roush and Emily Hall work as a team to co-lead FCA throughout the year. The fellowship has existed for more than 60 years, but Fields of Faith is just in its fourth year.

“Mr. Lynch and Missy Tingley were instrumental in starting the event and sponsoring the club,” said Hall, explaining how Fields of Faith started.

The event has grown quickly and each year the auditorium is packed a little fuller with the 2016 attendance estimated well over 100 people

“I want to achieve and surpass that,” Hall said. FCA hopes to have around 200 people attend Fields of Faith this year.

“My hopes for FCA and Fields of Faith this year are to help spread God's love to as many people as possible,” said Roush.

Hall agrees with Roush and said this year her goals are to provide a time of fellowship and worship for the students.

“I want the Gospel to be shared and God to be glorified,” Hall said.

Hall and Roush have been involved in FCA through all of their high school years. As they've grown and participated more, they've also gotten involved in new ways. This year, Hall's senior year and Roush's junior year, they are both part of the leadership team for the club and the event.

Of all the things she's done and seen at Fields of Faith, Hall's favorite part is always the testimonies. They help students get to know each other better.

“My eyes are always opened when I listen to stories of God acting in others lives,” Hall said. “The event reminds me of the power of God.”

She added Fields of Faith builds strong relationships between students because it provides a platform for the students to hear each other's stories, both good and bad parts.

“This year I hope the event will draw our focus to the only thing that is truly important: God and his work,” said Hall.

The Fields of Faith give a time for Christian students who attend different churches to worship together.

“It connects the people of our community, and surrounding communities, while worshiping our God together,” said Roush.

“It reminds us all that we are all members of the same church,” added Hall.

The FCA club that originally attended and then decided to host a Fields of Faith was made up of students who have now graduated. When they began the event here in Paris, it morphed into something unique, but holds the same motivations as other clubs. In Paris, the event runs longer than in other places, incorporates community members instead of just high school students and takes place inside, rather than on an actual field.

People can get involved in Fields of Faith and the local FCA by bringing their youth and coming to the event themselves. They can also donate monetarily to the club to help with purchasing food.

This year's event is at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 11. Dinner is served in the cafeteria at PHS, then attendees migrate to the Paris Center of Finer Arts, where the rest of the event takes place.

The Prairie Press

101 Central Avenue Paris, IL 61944