“My mother had the most impact on my life,” says Dr. Fitz Hill (co-chairman of the 2009 Central Arkansas CityFest and President of Arkansas Baptist College). He says she modeled a life of faith and service to others. “She just believed in serving the Lord outside the walls of church and that has been imbedded in my heart.”
Hill says his mother knew no strangers in his hometown of Arkadelphia. When she took community children to various school and church events, she talked to them about life. Hill says that was her way of giving them a life map for positive choices. “Because the life map for negative choices are right there, too. If you don’t know any other road you will usually take the one that is most accessible … and not the one that is best for you.”
When Hill was asked to be a 2009 co-chairman for Central Arkansas CityFest, he felt that he had been called by God to serve in this role. He said that he trusted the Lord to work out all of the details. Hill recognized CityFest as an opportunity for community churches to get out of their individual walls for the glory of Jesus Christ. “CityFest is about reaching out and bringing people together.”
He really liked the Seasons of Service prior to CityFest, with its emphasis on community projects. He was encouraged as he watched different churches interact in the community. “Each church has to find what … their mission field will be,” he says, adding that the choices for the Season of Service were endless. They included reaching out to the homeless, teaching literacy, and partnering with area schools. “This is not a cookie-cuttter [outreach] where everything has to fit,” Hill says. “You just have to find the best method to make a difference for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
As churches come together for the common good of the city, Hill says they are a catalyst for positive change in the community. Three hundred to four hundred churches working together for the common good of the city can accomplish much more than churches functioning as isolated silos working in their own capacity. As churches have joined with one another, there has been a sense of a common goal of improving our community.
Hill says it’s important to be in line with what God has called us to do, which is be a blessing to others. He believes that we have an opportunity to be a very special community. “When you try to bless yourself, you block God’s blessings,” he says. “When you try to be a blessing to somebody else, then the blessings will automatically come back to you. If we can become a community that each day wakes up and tries to be a blessing to somebody else, everything else will take care of itself.”