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Students come together for 'Back to School Bash'

Aug. 31, 2011 at 3:31 a.m.

Members of the Faith Family Church Worship Band, from right, Kendra McCarthy, Michael Graff and Kristi Teague, entertain a group of about 400 students during Faith Family Church's E3 back to school bash Wednesday night at Faith Academy's satellite campus. Students ate hot dogs, drummed up school spirit by watching the Victoria East and Victoria West High School cheerleaders perform, and then worshiped and prayed together during the event.

It isn't often that East and West high school students put aside their scholastic rivalries. But that's exactly what they did Wednesday night to come together and worship God during Faith Family Church's E3 Back to School Bash.

The schools, famous for their opposition, joined Faith Academy students at Faith Academy's Waco Circle satellite campus to demonstrate their school spirit, engage in a few friendly competitions and worship Jesus to help kick off the new year.

"I think an event like this is really great for the city. It helps incorporate God into everything we do this year and brought together East and West tonight," 16-year-old West High School cheerleader co-captain Taylor McCrary, said.

Before the E3 worship service started, McCrary and fellow West cheerleaders cheered and danced for a packed crowd of about 400 students.

"We're setting aside the rivalry today. Just today," 17-year-old West cheerleading co-captain Chelsea Hernandez said, laughing.

East's cheerleading squad also showed off their school spirit with a cheer and dance routine, exciting the crowds to scream along with their chants.

"We're supposed to play nice tonight, but we know we're good," East Cheerleading Co-Captain Brittney Holland, 17, said giggling, just before her team took the floor to perform.

Even through the healthy rivalrous jabs against West, Holland agreed the E3 Back to School Bash was an excellent way to unite community youths, remembering what's important this academic school year.

"Something like this is great because we already rely on God for everything. We pray before every competition, and ask for God to guide us through everything we do as a team," she said.

After both cheer squads finished their cheer and dance routines, the students corralled in the auditorium for a night of praise and worship.

As soon as Faith Family's worship band took the stage, led by front man Michael Graff, the crowds rushed the stage to dance along with the music.

Reflecting on the evening, event organizer Josh Joines said he was pleased with the turnout.

"We just want to get the students together. Of course we want them to have fun, but we also want them to know how much God loves and wants to bless their life; to show them how much he'll bless them if they'll give him their life," Joines said.

Joines said the youth community is welcome to attend E3 worship service every Wednesday, no matter what church they currently attend.

"If they don't already have a church group, they should come check us out," he said.



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