By Lorin Bentley, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO — Celebrating the Fourth of July inspires images of fireworks, baseball, and grilling with family and friends. But Calvary Albuquerque put its own spin on Independence Day by hosting a celebration big enough to fill a ballpark — twice.
On June 30 and July 1, thousands of people flooded Isotopes Park in Albuquerque, NM, home field of the Albuquerque Isotopes, for Calvary Albuquerque’s citywide Freedom Celebration. Over the course of the two evenings, families and people from all walks of life came to enjoy food, some of the top artists in Christian music, and a gospel message from Pastor Skip Heitzig.
Dove-award winner, Fernando Ortega, kicked off the celebration with a beautiful rendition of America the Beautiful. Calvary’s worship band, Battledrums, led both nights with worship favorites and some original songs, including several off their upcoming album.
Singer-songwriter Zach Williams then took the stage the first night, delivering powerful worship with a southern-rock vibe. The hugely popular and long-lasting Christian group the Newsboys wrapped up the evening with an energetic performance. Led by Michael Tait, formerly of DC Talk, the group performed fan favorites as well as a cover of DC Talk’s hit “Jesus Freak,” where they were joined onstage by hip-hop artist Graham Saber.