Hope Fest, AZ: Interview With Jaye Lene Long, Project Coordinator

Hope Fest is happening on July 14 in Prescott, AZ. To explain more about this festival, I have interviewed Jaye Lene Long, the project coordinator.

Why the name Hope Fest AZ?

The original name was Night Of Reclaiming Hope but over time the name shortened and evolved into the more memorable name HOPE FEST AZ. Because the hope, mercy and healing for all hurts, hang-ups and habits are found in the saving relationship found in Jesus Christ as described, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

What made you decide to have a Christian festival in Prescott?

We had two Nashville Christian recording artists approach us who wanted to do a concert in Prescott. The “festival” has grown from a small summer concert and has rapidly turned into a God-sized event, set to take stage on Saturday, July 14 in downtown Prescott at the historic courthouse plaza.

We love the many Arts & Crafts fairs that you can find most weekends on the Prescott Courthouse Plaza but we felt encouraged to offer an event to our community that would touch and impact people’s lives, to make a difference. We loved the lasting effect the two Night of Worship gatherings had on folks and thought we could offer an all-day family festival where we can meet our neighbors and have fun.

A vision by members of Celebrate Recovery in northern Arizona has rapidly exploded into a summer Christian festival with national recording artists, dynamic bible teaching and the debut of the inspirational family movie Home Run that emphasizes change is possible in each of our lives and that HOPE still exists!

With National & Local artists such as 33 MILES, Jamie Slocum, Steve Richard, Covenant 31, Tongue and Pen and Covela, DJ CreOne the day is sure to be an amazing day of celebrating the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Also, a skateboard demonstration and interactive display by SG3 Skateboards with Taylor Woods motocross and Skaters of Christ along with a Family Fun Zone to entertain kids of all ages.

What is your background?

Hmmm…I have attended Celebrate Recovery for most of the past 13 years, been a Leader for Celebrate Recovery for the past 4 years, redeemed from drug abuse for more than 13 years, marketing, event planning and promotions. But this event is a grass-root, team effort. Currently there are over 12 Team Captains with their own assistants and a slew of volunteers. I assure you no one person could orchestrate an event of this magnitude…truly a community has come together. Our common desire is to share the healing, the life-change found in Jesus Christ and the tools we’ve gained through Celebrate Recovery with everyone who attends HOPE FEST AZ.

How long has this been in the planning?

Last November we sat down for discussions and in December we gathered many of the Northern Arizona Celebrate Recovery leaders to meet one another, pray, seek and bond; this meeting was a landmark meeting because it had never been done before. Soon we agreed we wanted to bring CR to the public forum and HOPE FEST AZ was born.

Recently while looking back over notes and emails from those early days we came across the 1st email we received from the manager in Nashville asking if the artists he represented could come to play Prescott. Ironically, the date on the original email is 7/14/2011 exactly one year prior to HOPE FEST AZ’s July 14th, 2012 date.

How many churches are involved in Hope Fest (and who are they)?

Too many to give an accurate count but please keep in mind that this effort, this event is NOT about any one church or a denomination. We are setting aside denominational barriers and differences to come together at this time to make an impact…to do the things that are important for our community.

We are honored by First Baptist Church Prescott, the Nazarene churches of Chino Valley, Prescott Valley and Village of Oak Creek, American Evangelical Lutheran, Camp Verde’s Parkside, from Sedona – Christ Center Wesleyan Church, First Southern Baptist Church of Chino Valley, Calvary of Lake Havasu, First Baptist of Ft. Mohave, St Luke’s Ebony Christian Church, the Heights Church, and many more. We have been so in awe by the involvement and support from the area churches of Northern Arizona. We need more churches to come together to join us on this journey.

What is the goal of Hope Fest AZ? What do you expect or hope to accomplish?

To see hearts and minds turn to Jesus. The headline on our poster says it pretty well, “Bringing Life Changing HOPE Found in Jesus Christ to our Community!” That together with Jesus, we can face, work through and heal from ANY hurts, habit or hang-up. We are NOT talking only about drug or alcohol issues but pain, anger, depression, pride, resentments…the hurts and wreckage that we all have in common.

What inspired this gathering, and have you had this type of gathering elsewhere? Do you have photos?

This is the first ever event of it’s nature but once we committed to creating an event we had truck loads of inspiration!

Celebrate Recovery is in it’s 20th year, over 23 languages and in approx 30 different countries and close to 1 million lives that have been forever changed through it’s biblical 12-steps and Road to Recovery Principles. Celebrate Recovery is the Brighten Up Award recipient, the award given by Radio Shine 90.9FM / RadioShine.org to ministries and Christian non-profits that reflect Christ to their community with measurable results.

We sought to invite John Baker the founder of Celebrate Recovery, to be the guest speaker and receive the Brighten Up Award during HOPE FEST AZ. John graciously accepted and we are thrilled that he will be part of our Prescott event.

A chance meeting with SG3 Skateboard ministry this past February has turned in to a very compatible partnership with CR. They have an awesome youth ministry and will offer the 2nd stage for bands such as Covela, Young Phoenyx as well as, Skateboard exhibitions with special guests Taylor Woods and Skaters of Christ, water slides, a youth fashion show and even a Christian break dancing Contest. We are thrilled to have SG3 get involved with HOPE FEST AZ!

When we realized the entire Courthouse Plaza was ours for the entire day, soon the Community Resource Fair was birthed. Many times those of us in ministry or non-profit organizations, we know about each other and the services we offer. But many times the very people we are to serve find it to be a maze of confusion to actually seek help when they most need it. So the Community Resource Fair will put a face on many local, state and national organizations and will be equipped to meet our HOPE FEST AZ guests.

Community Resource Fair – The list includes and is growing daily: Food for the Hungry, Center for Arizona Policy, Home Run the Movie, Radio Shine, Horses with Heart, Camp Soaring Eagle – Sedona, Habitat for Humanity, Bikers for Christ, CROWN – Christian apparel, Christian Academy of Prescott, Nixon Ministries and Family Foundations Internationall, Celebrate Recovery, CR Gear Guy, Teen Challenge, YMCA – Prescott, Las Fuentes, Aglow International– Prescott, Hallelujah Horse Ranch, Hebrews 1:7 Ministries, Christian Family Care, Sword Tabs, Paulden Churches United, In It For the Cause, Community Pregnancy Center – Prescott, VA Upward Bound, Freedom Ministries, Child’s Dream – Christian Drama Troupe, Blue Star Moms – Prescott, Campus Crusade for Christ, Trading Faces, MATFORCE, SMART (Supporting, Mentoring and Restoring Teens), Yavapai County Blue Star Moms, Bolt Internet, Christian Writer’s Guild, Coach Prayer Ministries, Washington Traditional School, Math Success, Teen Outreach Pregnancy Services, and St. Luke’s Ebony Christian Church.

Why these particular artists like, 33MILES, Jamie Slocum, COVENANT 31, STEVE RICHARD, TONGUE & PEN? Any special reason?

All the artist “got it” the vision of sharing the Christ with our community. All the artists have donated their time, talents and travel to be part of this life-changing event. We are so honored and excited to have each of these Christian musicians on the line-up for the 1st ever HOPE FEST AZ.

33 MILES – the day FOOD for the HUNGRY partnered with HOPE FEST AZ was monumental! Their Christ-focused, heaven-minded music is receiving Country AND Christian air-play.

Jamie Slocum is an international Christian artist, producer, composer that has local roots and a heart for those searching for healing.

Covenant 31 because they come from broken backgrounds. They bring powerful testimonies that we all can relate to.

Steve Richard A dynamic performer, Steve has toured with rockers like Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, Dickey Betts and country greats Dierks Bentley, Craig Morgan and Montgomery Gentry. What you don’t know is that Steve struggled for many years with an addiction to drugs and alcohol. He will share his story at HOPE FEST AZ.

Tongue & Pen they are a young, local worship band who has recently been signed and will soon release their NEW CD. They enjoy a great following and their heart and mission are Christ-centered.

What businesses are involved in Hope Fest?

We have been amazingly blessed by the contributions of our partners: TITLE PARTNERS, FOOD FOR THE HUNGRY, LAMB CHEVROLET, CELEBRATE RECOVERY, SG3 SKATEBOARDS, CORPORATE PARTNERS, RADIO SHINE, SPRING HILLS SUITES, HOME RUN the MOVIE, PRESCOTT PRO SOUND, CROWN – CHRISTIAN APPAREL, LOWE’S, INKSTAR, BOLT INTERNET, HIKE HOUSE, PATRIOT DISPOSAL, COMMUNITY PARTNERS, CARR CHIROPRACTIC, PONDEROSA TIRE PROS, and OVERLAND JOURNAL.

What specific items do you need contributed?

HOPE FEST AZ does have a few outstanding needs. Maybe a reader might be inclined to contribute part, some or all of these items?

Together we can make this Festival easier…simpler…possible!

 Hotel Rooms – 3 Rooms for Two Nights

Rental Car – 2 for Two Days

Steel Folding Chairs – 300

Folding Tables (6 or 8 ft.) – 25

Porta Potties& Wash Station – 8 /1 for $405 thru Patriot Disposal

Water Bottles – 2000

ICE

Food Donations (to feed our volunteers) – Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, Condiments, Fruit, Snacks, Beverages, Paper Products

Incidentals – Towels for the Artists, Cleaning Products, Toilet Paper, Hand Towels, Hand Soap

How many volunteers do you need and what will they be doing?

We LOVE volunteers and will take as many as cheerfully step forward to make this event a reality.

Immediately we have a need in the areas of Administration, Promotions and Church Outreach. But our biggest need will be the Day of the Event with the Prayer Team, Hospitality, Security, Booth set-up, Production, Restroom, Trash and Clean-up Teams.

Anything else you wish to add?

Today, Hope Fest AZ has over 100 volunteers committed for this free life-changing, community event. The festival will also offer over 60 booths to visit featuring a variety of food, resource information and merchandise for purchase. Although that is miraculous, the organizers of this event anticipate a large turnout and are still looking for more sponsors, volunteers, prayer warriors and organizations that would be interested in hosting a booth for the day.

Visit http://www.hopefestaz.com for more information or to reach a member of Hope Fest AZ or visit Facebook at facebook.com/hopefestaz or on Twitter at @HopeFestAZ. Feel free to pass along this information to your community leaders, churches and other non-profit organizations.

Come join us for an amazing day in cool Prescott!

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