GRAND PRAIRIE—September marks Tejano Heritage Month, officially designated as such nine years ago by Texas Gov. Rick Perry. On Sept. 15, Westridge Fellowship in Grand Prairie—formerly Westridge Baptist Church—hosted a Tejano heritage event put on by the organization Reviving History.
“Few Texans know that the vice president of the Republic of Texas was a Tejano, Lorenzo De Zavala,” said Reviving History spokesperson Joshua Samuel. The event featured a Tejano band, door prizes, a piñata, and traditional Tejano barbecue. A video on Tejano history produced by the group Texas Tejanos was shown.
Westridge’s cooperation with Reviving History is not surprising. Pastor J.D. Stewart has long been concerned with the education of young people. He has been involved with student groups such as Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Campus Crusade for Christ.
He said he believes that violence on campuses and public shootings like the tragedy in Aurora, Colo., last summer partly result from the absence in the public school of biblical principles. His love of Jesus and concern for kids explain why Stewart accepted the call to leave his position as a telecommunications corporate executive in 2004 to become the director of Westridge Academy, the preschool and day care program of the church, and later its pastor.
Stewart has also long been concerned that young people are not only unaware of biblical history, but also lack knowledge of United States history. Enter Linda and Bob Patterson and Linda’s son, Joshua Samuel. Linda and Josh had watched American history videos while Josh was recovering from an illness. From this, the organization Reviving History was born. Josh wanted to make U.S. history accessible to others. The group needed a place to meet and approached Stewart.
“Our deacons got together. We prayed for two weeks. Then we called her and said, ‘The church is yours.’ We let Reviving History use our facilities on Saturday afternoons.” Reviving History has met at Westridge since June 2011. Everyone is welcome, and efforts are being redoubled in 2012 to create additional interest. Linda, Josh, and others canvas the area neighborhoods, putting out door hangers before each meeting. Josh also maintains the group’s website. Bob finances the operation and helps behind the scenes.
Reviving History has a website: revivinghistory.com. The church’s website is livewithchrist.com.