December 04, 2023

Worship Fest extends music weekend in June

Inaugural Christian music festival will be held the day after WCCF

Micah Tyler, a Christian music artist, will perform during Worship Fest on June 19 at the Fore Seasons festival grounds in Newton.

Who said the party has to end on a Saturday?

Following the headlining performance of The Marshall Tucker Band at the Wild Cat Country Fest this summer in Fore Seasons, another music festival with its own brand of contemporary Christian tunes kicks off the next afternoon on Sunday at the same festival grounds venue at 6232 County Highway S74 S.

Worship Fest, the inaugural Christian music festival by nonprofit organization Fierce Faith Music, will be held 1 to 4 p.m. June 19 in Newton. Kristi Cummins, president of Fierce Faith Music, confirmed the event’s close proximity to Wild Cat Country Fest is entirely intentional and ensures a full weekend of music.

Dan Nieland, chairperson of Wild Cat Country Fest Foundation Board, told Cummins that his fellow board members had envisioned a music festival with country music one night and then Christian music the next night. But nobody on the board was willing to take on the challenge.

“My husband and I go to Christian music festivals all the time. Not that it compares to what we’re doing — attending versus organizing — but it’s something that is completely up our wheelhouse. We love them,” Cummins said. “So we went to our church and got some guidance and prayer.”

From there, Cummins and her husband Nick took off with the idea, created an official nonprofit status and established a board.

Performing Christian music at Worship Fest this year is Texas pop singer Micah Tyler, California singer-songwriter Sean Feucht and the Central Iowa-based band Friday Night Fire. Cummins wants the atmosphere to be similar to another Iowa Christian music festival: RiseFest, which takes place every year in Sheldon.

“You got up there, you put up your little pop-up tent and you just let the kids go. You just feel so safe … It’s just a fun experience,” Cummins said. “We don’t want to completely take away what they’re doing, but we’re kind of like, ‘We would love to do something like that down here.’”

Cummins said she and her husband travel to Sheldon for RiseFest because there is no other Christian music festival like it in the state. That alone is driving organizers to grow Worship Fest into an event the community — and those living outside of Newton — can look forward to every year.

Judging by the outpouring generosity the Cummins family have received from people after announcing the festival a few months ago on Facebook, it is clear the community is excited for what into come. Cummins said she couldn’t go to the grocery store or church without someone mentioning it.

“Everyone was so excited,” she said. “We just want to spread the word … Nick and I and the board are really excited for it. We’re throwing it together extremely fast. We are still looking for some donors. Obviously the start-up costs don’t just (come out of nowhere). Nothing is free. Everything has its fee.”

Fierce Faith Music is still seeking donations at Tickets for Worship Fest will be $20 and can be purchased at by searching “Fierce Faith Music.” The music festival will be held rain or shine. However, lightning may cause performances to pause the day of Worship Fest.

Dawn Peters, owner of Fore Seasons, is looking forward to everyone having a great time and enjoying the environment around them at both the Wild Cat Country Fest and Worship Fest. When the final song is played and people leave the festival grounds, Peters hopes they are impressed.

“It’s been so fun and stressful at the same time,” Peters told Newton News, noting she has loved working with the people involved in the festival’s boards and committees. “I’m a very detailed person, so I want everything to go very well. There are so many details when it comes to putting together an event like this.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig

Christopher Braunschweig has a strong passion for community journalism and covers city council, school board, politics and general news in Newton, Iowa and Jasper County.