Lufkin church celebrates less-recognized freedom of religion

By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – It was a sea of smiles Sunday on the campus of Lufkin First Assembly Church. When church leaders looked for a way to celebrate Independence Day, as a whole church family, Freedom Fest was born.

"We are celebrating freedom," said Vicki Socia, First Assembly member.

Socia handed out hot dog, after hot dog, to fellow church members in a very patriotic hat.  She said she feels blessed with the freedom to spend the Fourth of July holiday with her entire church family.

"We celebrate it because we don't have to battle with the strong rule of an emperor or king. We have the freedom and the democracy to be our person," said Socia.

Church member, Darla McGuire also handed out what seemed like hundreds of hot dogs, in the heat.  She said Freedom Fest allowed her church to spotlight a less-recognized American freedom.

"We have the freedom to pray and worship where ever we want," said McGuire.

The celebration came with a message when it was kicked off by a special Fourth of July church service. It was that message which really hit home with church members.

"The service was really great because they talked about freedom and our country, and it really gets to your heart," said Linda Funderburk, First Assembly Member.

Church members said that involving the kids in the festivities was an important part of passing along the reason we celebrate Independence Day.

"Start 'em early, and they'll learn, and love it... and they'll love the Lord," said Funderburk.

Church intern, Michael Mendoza agreed. He said teaching the next generation how are their ancestors fought for all of the freedoms American enjoy is crucial to keeping it.

"They may have to fight for that freedom too," said Mendoza.

Fourth of July festivities continued Sunday night across East Texas with the annual fireworks show at the Lufkin zoo and downtown Nacogdoches.

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