One need only make a casual observation of the world today to see pervasive divisions. Whether politics, religion, or race relations, divisions abound.
The gospel according to Mark 3:25 records that a house divided against itself will not stand. Abraham Lincoln, a young would-be senator from Illinois back in 1858, relied heavily upon this principle in his “House Divided” speech. While he believed the country would endure, he further believed and fully expected that certain divisions would arrest the development of this nation.
Three years ago in Montgomery County, a small group of Christian leaders felt a similar need.
“The time was now ripe for Christians of Montgomery County and church leaders to work together and make our community better,” said Jody Czajkoski, one of the organizers of Faith Fest ’15. In short, Faithfest, Inc. is a partnership between community leaders, business leaders, and local faith-based organizations to promote “Unity in The Community.”
“God has really blessed this ministry in only a few years. We’ve been able to secure sponsorship in the past few years from such notables as Woodforest National Bank; Office Alert; MHW Commercial Real Estate, Inc.; McKenzie’s BBQ; and True Source Technology—not to mention faith-based organizations, including the Texas Music Christian Association; Lone Star Cowboy Church; Sacred Heart Catholic Church and School; First Conroe Baptist; Grace Lutheran Church and School; West Conroe Baptist; and Caney Creek Cowboy Church.
“This year, we are expecting to have more than 5,000 supporters come out to the Lone Star Expo Center at 9055 Airport Road in Conroe on November 21st,” continued Czajkoski. “With the doors opening at 2:00 pm, everyone can enjoy fun, great local artists, Grammy Award nominee Jeremy Camp, male vocalist of the year Aaron Watson, Rex Robards and the Grateful, activities for families, and much more.”
Faith Fest organizers believe coming together as a community to celebrate unity can not only be fun, but help to build relationships that will lead to the common good, first to the community, and later as an example to the nation. “This year, we partnered with the Rex Robards and the Texas Christian Music Association. It was Rex’s vision to combine the Christian with the secular music,” Czajkoski said. “But even with our secular acts, the music is still respectful to God and God’s people. What I think is unique is that each performer gives their testimony to what God has done in their lives. That’s powerful, and people are going to really be helped by this.”
Proceeds will also benefit four charities: Home of Hope, All the King’s Horses, Compassion United, and St. Vincent De Paul of Conroe. “Whether you are Baptist, Lutheran, non-denominational, Catholic, etc.—we all worship the same Jesus, and it is the devil we let divide us. As Christians, it is time we lead by example and not by words. We come together to stand up for what we believe and, at the same time, make a difference in the community we live in,” Czajkoski said. “A wise lady by the name of Madeleine L’ Engle once said, ‘We do not convince others by telling them loudly how wrong they are and how right we are. We convince them by showing them a light so lovely they will want with all their hearts to know the source of the light,’” continued Czajkoski.
Faithfest Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, donations are tax deductible. This “mission-minded” organization has not only provided the proverbial “fish” that feeds for a day, but is teaching charities “how to fish,” thus feeding for a lifetime. All proceeds after expenses will go to the four local charities.
Currently, there are three levels of corporate sponsorships available.
First there is the Star level. Those donating $2,500 receive four VIP tickets, a table/banner area, and the opportunity to pass out brochures.
Next is the Gold level at $3,750. Six VIP ticket are provided, with an additional four general admission tickets. Logos of companies or organizations have the opportunity to be printed on select Faith Fest literature and posted at faith-fest.com, in addition to a table/banner area and opportunities to pass out brochures.
Then there is the Platinum level, reserved for those with donations of $6,000.
At this level, stage mentions of sponsorship will be made during the festival, with company names mentioned in selected radio ads. Logos will be printed on all related material as well as posted on the website. Those on the platinum level can expect prime table and booth locations, as well as ten VIP seats.
“Believe it or not, it was not easy to get groups of faith to work together at first,” Czajkoski said. “But, once we were able to explain the goals and plans and let them agree on the charities, things became a lot smoother.”
Each charity works to benefit a certain aspect of the community that at times has been underserved or ignored.
Home of Hope is an organization working to house and care for victims of sex trafficking.
Established in 2008 as an organization dedicated to help fight adolescent human trafficking in the U.S., the organization has been actively involved in raising public awareness and acquiring adequate facilities to provide long-term aftercare helping the youth become productive in society once again. Through extensive programs of care, counseling, medical, therapy and education, Home of Hope’s goal is for children to be restored and mature into successful adults.
All the King’s Horses is the story of one woman’s love and personal journey toward peace with Christ. This organization takes at-risk youth and provides them with the opportunity to learn responsibility by working with majestic horses. This simple concept has met with amazing results, giving back to those who need it the most.
Compassion United helps those who have fallen through the cracks of society. They work to provide clothing, food, and other services. They act as “Good Samaritans,” bringing the ministry of Christ to those closest to His heart.
St. Vincent De Paul in Conroe serves as a food pantry that also supplies medical assistance, clothing, utility and housing costs, hot meals, medical assistance, and counseling to those in need. This organization has worked for many years on the efforts of volunteers and donations; however, they have grown to provide services to several thousand within the Montgomery County area.
The goal is to raise more than $500,000 to help provide assistance to these worthy charities.
The motto of Faith Fest is “Unity in the Community.” That rarely can happen without something for everyone, especially the children. This year will feature the always popular Backyard Bull Riders Tour, plus junior bulls and mutton busting. Those in attendance will have the opportunity to gain more knowledge through prayer at one of several prayer tents set up throughout the facility. But, most of all, no one will go home empty-handed.
The committee is working hard to provide…not a “goodie bag”…but a “fresh start bag.” There will have some “goodies” in it, but the Holy Bible is what gives it that fresh start feeling. If you would like to get involved as a sponsor, participant, charity, vendor, or volunteer, please contact Jody Czajkoski at Jody@faith-fest.com or (713) 560-6069.
Lone Star Expo Center
9055 Airport Road
Conroe, TX 77303