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Worship, God’s Word, and a ‘Barn-Tent’

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2024 at 8:00 am


Kai and Alex Pineda

There’s a 50-day revival going on in Shelbyville from now until April 9. Held daily from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tracy Vannatta Barn on Unionville-Deason Road, It’s free and open to everyone.

More than anything, it has the goal of creating unity and hope in the community, according to revival organizers and husband and wife team Kai and Alex Pineda.

“There’s a lot of people who have been hurt. A lot of people who have been disappointed by religion. So this is such a free zone. No one brings up anything outside of, ‘let’s come together,’” said Alex, who is a pastor.

Kai has also been in ministry for 24 years. She travels across the country speaking, teaching, writing, and singing about God’s Word. With Alex, they plant home fellowships across the U.S. and abroad.

The couple has traveled and lived from east coast to west coast, but Shelbyville calls to them. As good friends of Fawn and Keith Weaver, the Pinedas became familiar with the area when the Weavers started their Uncle Nearest Premium Whiskey venture around 2018.

Alex also serves as Uncle Nearest’s chaplain. “He is their corporate chaplain. So they are the only spirit brand in the world with a pastor,” said Kai.

In 2019, when Kai came to visit Alex in Shelbyville, she recalls how God gave her a vision of a barn flooded with people worshipping the Lord.

“I was like, but this ground is so fertile. It’s fertile for the Lord, but I feel like anything you want to create here, it can happen,” said Jai.

After officially moving to Shelbyville in January 2021, it wasn’t until this past October when Kai was at a faith conference that the vision came into full bloom.

Her 50th birthday is coming up in April. “I was down praying when I heard, very clearly, ‘It is not a birthday party, but there will be multiple births in the kingdom.’ I wrote down ‘a tent, worship, and the Word’.”

Alex admits he was hesitant at first when Kai told him about the vision. “I knew my wife heard God. I’m clear about that. But it just took a moment to just take it in…To submit to the vision took a minute,” Alex said.

Even the Weavers, after Kai told them, were astounded at the prospect of a 50-day long event.

However, there was a seemingly incompatible detail: was it to be in a tent or a barn?

But there was a solution: a barn-tent.

In January of this year, Kai contacted another good friend and Shelbyville leader, Shane Hooper. He and his wife suggested the Tracy Vannatta Barn.

Built in 1902, the top of the structure is the original barn while the bottom half is wrapped in strong plastic, like a tent.

“I said to my husband, ‘Is that a barn-tent’?” said Kai with a laugh.

At the ‘barn-tent,’ “A Time of Revival” is going on now every night from now until April 9 at 2685 Unionville Deason Rd. in Bell Buckle. The night features guest speakers, testimonies, prayer, healing, and baptisms.

It’s just one of the many ways that the Pinedas say God has guided them through this process. From there everything began to flow.

Meeting with the Vannatta’s and some of their family and friends, Kai said, “The presence of God in Linda Vannatta’s home and with them was just so overwhelming.”

Now just over halfway through the revival, Kai and Alex said they’ve had close to 30 of the same, consistent people come to the revival every night. Some nights, attendance has filled all 125 seats available in the barn-tent.

In the time since it’s started, they say they’ve seen people saved, rededicated, healed, and reunited with each other. “It’s just been miracle after miracle,” said Kai.

They’ve had people of all ages, backgrounds, and denominations come. “It really is a picture of what the bride should be. In this barn-tent, we have seen all those [divisions] not just fall, they just don’t exist.” Kai added as an example that they’ve seen more men attend than women — an uncommon statistic among common church-goers.

It’s safe to say the people help motivate the Pinedas to do what they do.

“When I first came to visit Shelbyville, I felt it was so peaceful. But the people are so kind. I have met some of the most kind, warming, and welcoming people here,” said Kai.

The area has inspired many family friends of the Pinedas to move from bigger cities like Boston, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Portland.

“It’s just been a beautiful place,” said Kai, who is originally from Northern California and was living between St. Louis and Los Angeles before coming to Shelbyville.

“People will come and visit us and because this area is so fertile, they stay. They build homes here,” said Alex. “It can be scary because a lot of city people are coming and I think because of change people have difficulty. So there’s a responsibility on our part we’re not disrupting what this all about.

“You need to adapt to their culture…Our mission is to make sure we tie into what’s existing, and then together we can build.”

But more than the location or the connections, it’s their obedience to God that keeps the Pinedas going.

“I’m just the person God asked, but this has been His,” said Kai, who ministers every night. “Even if I was the only one who came to this revival, for me, it was about being obedient.”

“A Time of Revival” is going on now every night from now until April 9 at 2685 Unionville Deason Rd. in Bell Buckle. The night features guest speakers, testimonies, prayer, healing, and baptisms. For more information call 615-632-8629.