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Jesus to take the wheel at this years Heritage Festival

While the Jeep may run off gasoline, Jeep owners can fill up their souls with inspiration during this years Jeep Festival.

This years Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival will be introducing the “Jeep Blessing” event on the morning of Sunday, June 11, at Cooper’ Lake Campground. This first-time event will include music, hymns, 3 speakers and a sermon and the blessing of the 140 Jeeps representing 35 states that will be in attendance for the service.

Stephanie Felmlee, one of the lead volunteers for the event brought the idea to the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival Board of Directors after attending a similar service, on a much smaller scale at a different event.

“This isn’t for just one denomination, this is just a commodity of people,” Felmlee said. “It’s way for us to feel close to God and ask him to keep us safe while we have fun.”

The Jeep blessing left a profound impact on Felmlee who found a new appreciation for the Jeep community.

“I’m not a die-heard Jeep fan, I’m not a generation-to-generation Jeep person at all, but what I fell in love with is the people,” Felmlee said “The Jeep people are such a wonderful community of people.”

The announcing for the event was well-received as registration for this event has reached max capacity.

“I’m not sure the board of directors thought we would have a huge attendance,” Said Felmlee. “They thought that we would have like 75 Jeeps.”

Those 75 spots were gone in almost 45 minutes, according to Felmlee. The committee limited it to 140 spots, which will include over 300 people in attendance.

“I think the board was a little surprised that the ‘Jeep people’ or ‘Jeeples’ would be so into this.” Felmlee said. “There is a whole Christian Jeep associations that is throughout the United States, and we have a representative from the Pennsylvanian chapter speaker.”

Bill Beck, of the Motor racing Outreach, and Jerry Rotthenhoefer, of the Christian Jeep Association, will be speaking at the event, with Bernie Caldwell delivering the sermon.

“This is going to be first time with the Jeep guys,” said Beck who is the Chaplin of Lernerville Speedway. “My heart is in motorcycle riding. I’m a big motorcycle rider.”

The 85 year-old, self-described “Jesus Freak” finds beauty in the community coming together to share in their passions and their worship.

“There are two types of Jeep people, ones that want to keep their Jeeps clean, then we have the other people that live by the phrase ‘dirt don’t hurt,’ and they don’t mind if they get muddy. The message is that one doesn’t exclude the other class, we’re all brothers through Christ.”

Jeep participants will be given a “small token” and a sticker at the end of the service.

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