Winterfest, ‘little weekend gig,’ draws 15,000
The annual rally, described by founder Dudley Chancey as “just a little weekend gig,” brought an estimated 11,500 teens and sponsors to Gatlinburg and about 4,000 more to Arlington, Texas.
The weekend’s theme, “Rock Solid,” focused on Jesus versus the supposedly everlasting traits this world has to offer. Huge pillars and statues representing Popularity, Pleasure, Power and Possessions adorned the stage. By the end, the statues toppled to the ground, and a cross stood in their place.
Jeff Walling,minister for the Providence Road church, Charlotte, N.C., keynoted the event atboth locations. A cappella group Watershed Worship led worship in Gatlinburg,and contemporary Christian musician Michael Tait performed.
Dale Manor,archaeologist and professor at Harding University, Searcy, Ark., gave teenssome “rock solid” proof for their faith, showing artifacts from his personalcollection, the oldest of which dated back to Abraham’s time.
During the eventsattendees contributed about $50,000 to mission work in Honduras.
Though the eventproduces large-scale numbers in terms of attendance and contributions, Chancey,associate professor of ministry at Oklahoma Christian University, OklahomaCity, said he tries to keep Winterfest true to its grassroots origins.
“If God wants it tokeep going, it will,” he said. “We are not trying to build a business orempire. I really want to stay humble in this and let God work it and get theglory.”
Formore information, see www.winterfest.org.
April 1, 2006