Christian rock band Skillet headlines En Fuego 2018

By J.R. Tidwell / Editor

A large crowd full of locals and visitors to Chilton County gathered on a hillside in Verbena for the Christian music festival En Fuego on Aug. 25.

The festival, which was started in 1997, was headlined by well-known Christian rock band Skillet. En Fuego also featured performances by Bonray, Rhett Walker Band, Ryan Stevenson and Sidewalk Prophets.

“Thank you for showing up and singing all these songs with us,” said Skillet lead singer John Cooper during the band’s set. “I have had an awesome time at this festival watching all these awesome performers on stage today. Some of them are good friends of mine, and some I just met today. It’s a real honor to be here.”

According to the festival’s website, “Meaning ‘On Fire’ in Spanish, En Fuego is a one-day festival where students from every denomination and background come together for the purpose of worship and seeing Jesus Christ change lives.

“Each consecutive year, the praise and worship has been spectacular, and a clear Gospel message has been presented. An outdoor event, the festival has a very intense, yet intimate, camp-like feel and some have referred to it as ‘the Christian Woodstock of your generation.’ This event has seen hundreds of students come to know Christ, make commitments of renewal and be called into full-time ministry. Now, more than 20,000 people cover the open hillside each year to exalt the name of Jesus Christ! “

In the middle of Skillet’s song “Sick of It,” Cooper spoke a message to the crowd pertaining to the meaning behind the track.

“Everyone has something that they are sick of,” he said. “Hate. Anger. Bitterness. Abuse. Addiction. Depression. Loneliness. The Bible says ‘Jesus came to give good news to the poor, and to set us free.’ So whatever you are sick of, put up your hand.

He then continued singing with the song’s next lyric, “Raise your hands if you’re sick, if you’re sick of it.”

David Frey, the lead singer of Sidewalk Prophets, also shared a message with the audience during his band’s set.

“If you only remember one thing after you leave tonight, I want you to remember that you are loved,” he said. “If someone asks you tomorrow how you are, I want you to tell them ‘I am loved.’”

See all images from the festival here.

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