How early in the morning do you think about your faith?

How early in the morning do you think about your faith?

Every Friday morning in the band room of the Carthage Middle School, a group meets to find hope, encouragement, learn of a higher power and fellowship with other Christians. In February, it will have been one year since the establishment of the Fellowship of Christian Students at the school. And in that time, the small group has flourished in numbers – they have outgrown a classroom, the music room and are now bursting at the seams of the band room. During the last meeting, Friday, Jan. 18, a total of 254 people showed up at 6:30 a.m., to hear some special visitors.

The Christian band, Consumed By Fire, led the praise and worship time before school started for the day. Before going on a new spring tour, “The Fight,” the group agreed their trip to CMS was worthwhile.

“I had to wake up at four o'clock this morning to get here,” said band member Jordan Ward. “I don't like to wake up that early for nothing less than spectacular … This was nothing less than spectacular.”

Students, parents, faculty and staff of the school enjoyed the talents of the live band; who are often heard on the radio. This group, originally from the area of Tulsa, Okla., has performed in the same concerts as Abandon, Seventh Day Slumber and Anthem Lights. After the meeting, the band signed autographs and gave away CDs. For one Carthage fifth grader, a collection of music was a special gift.

“Over Christmas break, our car got broken into while we were in the movie theater,” said Adara Smith. “There was glass everywhere, and they had taken my mom's purse, a camera that had our Christmas pictures on it, and my CD's.”

Holding up her new CD from Consumed By Fire, she said “this really means a lot to me. I was angry,  and sad too. My faith really means everything to me.”
Zachary Garrison, fifth grader, made sure he got an autograph from every band member.

“I like their music,” he said. “This is a chance for us all to come together, believe in Christ and have fun while we're doing it.”

The band's efforts were appreciated by another particular student.

“They are really, really good,” said fifth grader Avery Sneed. “I'm so grateful they took their time to come play for us.”

Caleb Ward, lead vocals and guitar for Consumed By Fire, said the group's visit to the school was a great experience.

“We were happy to be here,” he said. “I love being around kids. It's a joy first, and second it comes down to being a responsibility in some ways. It's a great feeling to see someone grow closer to God during a concert, so there's satisfaction in that, but it's more of a duty as a Christian to share your talents and spread the word … We really like the scripture 'the gifts and the calls of God are irrevocable.'”