Children in costume filled Comanche Chapel during the annual Hallelujah Festival Saturday hosted by the Garrison Chaplain’s Office.

“We still wanted to allow the community and children to enjoy the best of the harvest season, so we decided to do a community festival,” Pastoral Coordinator Stacey Wilson said. “Instead of calling it Halloween, we called it the Hallelujah Festival, which has more of a spiritual concept to it and still allows fun costumes and is open to the community.”

Gospel music filled the parking lot as families enjoyed the free festival.

“It builds such unity,” Wilson said. “This is something that the whole family can enjoy together.”

Wilson shared that in lieu of trick-or-treating off post, the festival provides Soldiers and their families a safe and convenient location to have fun.

“It provides a safe environment on their own installation and chapel,” Wilson said.

The Comanche Chapel hosts children-friendly events throughout the year. Approximately 100 children attend service at Comanche Chapel.

“They (children) are the future,” Wilson said. “We try to guide them in the right direction.”

Wilson, who has worked for the church for 20 years, said she has had the privilege to watch many children who have attended the church grow over the years into young adults.

“We truly love our community,” Wilson said. “Come as you are.”

Spc. Jordan Hendrix, youth leader volunteer, and wife Hanna, children’s leader volunteer, brought their two children to the church for the festival. The Hendrix family have been members of Comanche Chapel since February. Hanna said that her children love attending church.

“Every weekend — our son isn’t old enough to go to school — he’ll ask ‘Are we going to church today?’,” Hanna said.

Hanna said going to church is important and has helped her and her family meet other families who are also new to Fort Hood. The Hendrix family moved to Fort Hood less than a year ago.

“The families that I have met have been from this church,” Hanna said. “There’s somebody that’s going to be there for us.”

Hendrix and Hanna attended the festival to give their children an opportunity to have fun, but also to volunteer their time.

“To be able to give back to the community,” Hendrix said.

Hanna said that their family does not celebrate Halloween, but wanted their children to have fun.

“It definitely gave our children the opportunity to have fun and dress up,” Hanna said. “Do the whole Halloween thing, without celebrating Halloween.”

More than 800 community members attended the festival.

“I think it’s awesome that the whole entire community has come out to enjoy the event that Comanche has put on,” Hanna said. “I really enjoyed it.”

Comanche Chapel will host their next event, HUGE Community Giveaway Bazaar, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday.