Fellowship Church Senior Pastor Ed Young said he doesn’t care what religious affiliation residents and guests of Grapevine, Texas, may have; he just wants them to celebrate the 4th of July weekend on his church campus Saturday.
Billed as the “Freedom Experience,” the evening event that is free to the public includes food, bounce houses, live music, and a “world-class” fireworks display. However, for Young it’s all about community outreach.
“Everything we do for every weekend and every event we do [is] for the people who haven’t shown up yet, for those who may never have even been to a church,” Young told The Christian Post. “When it comes to this event, it doesn’t matter what someone’s church background is, everyone can celebrate and take part in it.”
But the commemoration of U.S. independence is a significant one, for Christians especially.
“As Christians living in the United States, the freedom that we celebrate this weekend is twofold. We have freedom on earth because of the men and women of our armed forces; and we have eternal freedom found in the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ,” Young said. “This outreach simply highlights those truths, while at the same time introducing people to our church and giving them a picture of what we do every weekend."
Although exact attendance numbers for this free event from past celebrations are not kept by the church, a Fellowship Church spokesperson said that thousands of people are expected. It takes hundreds of church volunteers to put on Freedom Experience, which has been heavily promoted on the church’s website, and through Facebook and Twitter.
Young said he is looking forward to seeing the variety of backgrounds, cultures, and communities converge at his megachurch.
“Our biggest prayer going into a weekend like this is the same prayer that we have every weekend: that people will be exposed to the message of hope that the Church champions. Each weekend, we communicate the reality that God, through Jesus, has a plan and a purpose for all of our lives,” he said.