Like No Other Christmas EveDecember 24, 2004
As Fellowship Church has grown over the past 14 years, we've added more and more services each Christmas and Easter to accomodate the incredible number of people. We have done as many as 11 and 13 services in previous years, each one completely identical, using the same personnel and a live message from Ed Young. This year, we decided to do something completely different; we rented the American Airlines Center, home of the Dallas Mavericks, for two community-wide Christmas Eve services.
After months of planning and preparation, thousands of mailings to homes across the metroplex, and an all-time record of over 2,100 e-invites sent via the website, today was the day. I don't know if any of us knew what to expect, but when nearly the entire lower bowl was full 40 minutes before the first service, it became apparent that something truly special and blessed by God was about to occur. I was serving on the third level and had an incredible view of the main parking lot and entrance to the AAC. It was overwhelming to watch thousands upon thousands of people stream in, with traffic on both sides of I-35 at a standstill. Earlier in the day, we wondered if the third level would be necessary. By the time the service started, a crush of people was filling every single seat in the third level and we were searching for overflow. Fifteen minutes into the service, most of the seats behind the stage were full and, as Terry Storch describes on his blog, the fire marshall actually forced us to close the doors.
I sent Terry a SMS message just after 3:00 that said it all: "Have you ever seen anything like this?"
Thank you God for making all of this possible, and for the chance to be part of an amazing moment. The prayer of each one of us is that lives will be changed forever.
Here's the story as told by the Dallas Morning News.