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Image by Elisha Terada

Christian Patriotic Celebration

Follow the Flag

What is it?

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Like Buzzy, the Jacksboro Highway, Eagle Mountain Lake and Music in the Park, Follow The Flag is forever etched into the history of Azle.

The Azle Area Ministerial Alliance’s (AAMA) annual, Christian and patriotic celebration of America’s independence is Azle’s premiere event each year.

Every July 4, thousands gather in Azle’s Central Park to enjoy live, Christian entertainment, free food and refreshment and one of the largest fireworks displays around, set to patriotic music.

Annual Lew & Sandy Shaffer Award

The Lew Shaffer Award is presented each year during Follow The Flag. A highlight of the event, this award is symbolic of the dedication, love and service exemplified by the beloved FTF founder and co-founder of Son Shine Ministries. 

 

Past recipients of this award include Shaffer himself, who received the inaugural award in 2012. Additional recipients are:

 

2013: Azle PD Chaplain and retired pastor Glyn Murphy;

2014: Retired AISD Director of Administration Ray Ivey;

2015: Retired AHS Principal and Azle city council member Rouel Rothenberger, Jr.;

2016: Paul Brownback, pastor of The Abbey Church;

2017: Lee Sipe, pastor of First Baptist Church Azle;

2018: Retired Lt. Col. Stoney Stonebraker, longtime supporter of the AAMA;

2019: Tim Stevens, pastor of Azle First Assembly;

2020: Longtime former AAMA Treasurer Nate Simmons;

2021: Paul and Amy Collins, staff members and marriage ministers at Son Shine Ministries;

2022: David and Daniele Shaffer; David is President of Son Shine Ministries, where he and Daniele serve together in marriage ministry.

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The late Lew Shaffer, center, is presented with the first-ever Lew & Sandy Shaffer Award by AAMA President Glyn Murphy, left, as Shaffer's wife, Sandy, looks on.

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This 2016 photo shows (l-r): 2022 Lew & Sandy Shaffer Award recipients Danielle and David Shaffer, years before they received the award; Paul Brownback receiving the award on July 4, 2016; Ray Ivey, 2014 recipient; Glyn Murphy, 2013 recipient; and Rouel Rothenberger, Jr., 2015 recipient.

How it Happens

How can such a spectacular event be free for thousands of people to attend? Because of the dedication and commitment of many dozens of individuals representing churches, businesses and organizations across the Azle area.

 

Thanks to financial support from many companies in the area as well as participation of civic organizations and others, the event is one of the best-attended and iconic events in the area.

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Support and participation by the City of Azle, Azle Police and Fire Departments, and Briar-Reno VFD are also crucial to Follow The Flag.

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