Festival of Faith set for Oct. 13
By GAYLE WEBER
Ellis County Ministerial Alliance President Wes Oakley said if Van Crouch doesn't leave you with a smile on your face, you must not have been listening.
The charismatic speaker will deliver the featured message at this year's Festival of Faith, scheduled for 3 p.m. Oct. 13 at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center on the Fort Hays State University campus.
Crouch is a well-known public speaker from the Chicago area. Early in his career, he was a successful insurance salesman before later turning to motivational speaking. His endorsements and references come from corporate and private America -- and even the Chicago Bears.
"The pairing of the commerce with the churches, the ministries of Ellis County -- he speaks to both real frequently," said Oakley, who has known Crouch for many years through a ministry organization. "To me, that was a good fit for the Festival of Faith because the chamber of commerce has been involved since Day 1."
The Festival of Faith is sponsored by ECMA and Hays Area Chamber of Commerce. An offering will be taken for ECMA's Second Mile Fund, which benefits Ellis County residents in need.
In traditional fashion, members of local churches will pray for a variety of things at the festival, including local businesses, the church, schools and government. Additionally, the festival, which is focusing on giving thanks from Psalm 136:1, will include Scripture readings, music led by Johnny Matlock and a praise team led by Celebration Community Church members.
"As we sing, pray together and listen to his word, we give thanks for the multiple ways our lives are touched by others of the household of faith and for the true friendships we have come to know in God," Judy Bieker said in an email describing the annual festival.
Since Crouch is coming all the way from Chicago, festival planners have opened the floor for him to speak during much of the festival.
Oakley said Crouch's message will be uplifting and encouraging, and he has a humorous delivery.
"He's got a lot of experience," Oakley said. "Got a real heart for it."
In addition to Festival of Faith, Crouch will speak at Oakley's Westview Church at 10:30 a.m. service Oct. 13.