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Cheers of praise to be heard Friday night at Williston’s Booster Stadium

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By Carolyn Ten Broeck

Jamie Baker is praying that the stands at Williston’s Booster Stadium will be filled to capacity Friday night.
He’s not alone.
Jason Cason’s praying, too.
“I really believe that attendance at this event will rival the glory days of WHS football games back in the late ‘80s,” Cason said.  “Back then, the entire stadium was filled, and fans filled both of the vacant areas at each end of the stadium.”
The two men, along with countless others, have been constant in their prayers for months, and it has nothing to do with football–or fans.
It’s a leap of faith because on Friday night at Booster Stadium, there won’t be athletes butting helmets or angry fans demanding referees get new glasses.
The sounds of praise to God Almighty will replace the fans’ cheers and the only sounds from the crowd should be shouts of Hallelujah as Fields of Faith takes to the playing area.
Sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Fields of Faith is a peer-to-peer ministry where students and athletes share their personal testimonies of faith.
The non-denominational event got its start in 2004 when more than 6,000 students gathered on football fields in Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas for a back-to-the-fundamentals game plan for life.
Seven years later, Fields of Faith is held across the nation, and this year, Oct. 12 is the designated day.
But Baker, working with the high school’s Fellowship Christian Athletes, decided to utilize the football team’s bye week and continue to fill the stadium just as they have every Friday night for the past six weeks.
“It’s a ministry,” Baker said. “It’s a job that He has given me–to spread His word where I am, and FCA is an outlet.”
Last year, Williston Fields of Faith was a small event, Baker said, with 75-80 participants.
Early this year, the men’s group at Williston Church of God offered help and in no time other churches in the area were pitching in to ensure the event would cross the community to involve anyone and everyone who wanted to participate.
“We want to pack the stadium,” Baker said, “by having as many as we do for a football game.”
The gates will open at 6:15 p.m. and Christian music will fill the stadium as people file in.
At 7 p.m., Cason and Matt Brooks, dual emcees for the evening, will kick off the event with a welcome before introducing Christian rapper D. King,  (born DeQuan Marciano King) who is from Raleigh. D. King will share his testimony through word and song.
Several students will take the stage to share their stories and how God works in their lives.
Also performing will be Sending 72, a contemporary Christian rock band from Newberry.
Keynote speaker for the evening is Frank Reynoso, a staff member with the FCA.
Born in New York, Reynoso was once a runaway who turned to a life of crime, alcoholism and drug abuse. Incarcerated at a young age, he accepted Jesus as his Savior at the age of 23, and for the last 20 years has been spreading the gospel and his tell-it-like-it-is message of hope.
Reynoso is the senior pastor of Body of One Ministries in Orlando.
“Frank understands the youth,” Baker said, “He  knows where they are and will share his story.”
While the event is tagged as peer-to-peer, organizers want to emphasize it is for everyone. More than 15 pastors and youth pastors from the area are expected to join in with 50-plus adult volunteers to coordinate the evening.
“We need the full body of Christ to show up Friday night in support of the event and the young people,” Cason said. “We covet everyone’s prayers for the event so that it may be a blessing and revival for the community and that God be glorified. As King Josiah challenged his people to change their culture through the reading of and living by the tablets found in the temple, we are challenging our youth to change their culture through the reading of and following of God’s Word.”
The evening will conclude around 10 p.m., Baker said. “Pretty much the same time a football game would end.”
But the coach and his team of prayer warriors are trusting the evening won’t actually conclude then–-but carry on to build a better Williston and better players for Team Jesus.