By REBECCA HOEFFNER
Christian singer Phil Wickham will perform in a concert Aug. 8 at Dayspring United Methodist Church — a church that has come a long way from meeting in a movie theater during its first few years.
Tickets are $15 online, $20 at the door (but this concert is expected to sell out before the event).
Tickets are available at www.dayspringumc.com/concert .
"Dayspring is the most successful church plant in last 10 years for the Texas Methodist conference, and is probably the most ‘modern' church facility in East Texas (architecturally speaking) as well as hosting a "modern" staff of ministers in their early 30s," according to an email from Janna McClure, public relations liaison with the church.
The church, 310 W. Cumberland Road, began in October 2007. Since its inception, the motto of Dayspring UMC is to be "a church without walls" in East Texas.
"If the (collective) Church looks to Christ as our example, we see that he never confined himself within a space," said Aaron Laird, worship and creative arts director, in an email exchange. "He went out and reached out into the dark and lonely places, even at great risk to himself. He also received everyone that came to Him. You never see Him condemn. Finally, He gave himself fully for us. That's who we need to be, as the Church."
Despite the youth of the church, the leadership is well-educated.
Senior pastor Matt Stone has his Masters of Divinity and was a Prothro Fellow at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University and Summa Cum Laude.
The church is also on the cutting edge of sound and video with a 50-foot immersive triple-wide screen.
You may have already seen Dayspring in your community this year.
A volunteer-led team of adults reaches out to kids in local neighborhoods; playing, tutoring, providing meals and spending time with children during the summer months. During the school year, they show up at their local school to tutor, read and encourage the kids.
The Dayspring Senior High Youth just returned from a week of repairing homes in Palestine. The Junior-high and Mid-high youth are currently on a trip north of Tyler to do the same in that community.
Dayspring is also actively collecting supplies of toiletries and other essentials in order to help provide for the children suffering through the current immigration crisis.
Dayspring hosts a number of creative events and concerts throughout the year, such as a quarterly open-mic night, with a "grandma rule," Laird said.
"If you wouldn't play it for your grandma, don't play it here,"he said.
Also, each Summer, Dayspring offers a "Summer Concert" to the East Texas community. In 2013, they hosted The Digital Age (formerly the David Crowder Band) in concert to a sold out audience. This summer features Wickham. The concert will be held at 7 p.m. Visit www.dayspringumc.com/concert for tickets.
"We also want Dayspring to be a creative hub for Tyler," Laird said. "Historically, the Church was known as a place where art lived. We've all seen pictures of the beautiful Sistine Chapel or heard a Bach prelude/postlude. These are gifts given by God, to create artistic works to glorify God. Let's not lose that. When someone comes to Dayspring, we want them to put their creative gifts to use, to see God through the creativity around them, and then for Him to be glorified in that. He created us to be creative! It's beautiful."