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Winter Praise Fest features live entertainment

By Crystal O'Gorman
Correspondent
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/12/09/50/KTfmb.Em.138.jpeg|210
    - THE GRIGGS
    The Griggs are, from left, Wayne Billings, Terry Grigg, Zolia Clayton, Pete Grigg and Arnold Clayton.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/12/09/50/118Hse.Em.138.jpeg|439
    - DEMARCUS RUSSELL
    Demarcus Russell, mime, will appear at the Winter Praise Fest
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/12/09/50/q17H.Em.138.jpeg|285
    - BLOODBOUGHT
    bloodbought, from left, back row, is Steve Stamper, Sandi Sanders and Brad Jonas. Kneeling is Terry Jarvis.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/12/09/50/1dI1tX.Em.138.jpeg|316
    - WE R FORGIVEN
    We R Forgiven members are, from left, Donna Ward, Bill Ward, Keith Mincey and Cathy Mincey.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/02/12/09/50/1c1z9d.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - MELODY OF FAITH
    Melody of Faith members are, from left, Jasmine Lamar and Tina Booth. Booth used to sing with The Promise Trio but started singing with her daughter in 2013.

More Information

  • Want to go?

    Winter Praise Fest will be 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 at CommonGround at First United Methodist Church, 5481 Hickory Grove Road, Stanley. For information, go to www.winterpraisefest.com.



We R Forgiven brings local Christian music and entertainment to CommonGround in Stanley from 4 to 8 p.m. Feb. 22 for Winter Praise Fest.

“We had a Summer Praise Fest last June and felt called to do something between Christmas and spring,” said Bill Ward, a member of host band We R Forgiven.

Melody of Faith, The Griggs and bloodbought and mime Demarcus Russell will also perform at this free event. Ward said that the Summer Praise Fest entertained approximately 500 people and they expect just as many this time.

We R Forgiven consists of two married couples Bill and Donna Ward of Stanley and Keith and Cathy Mincey of Dallas.

Tina Booth from Melody of Faith looks forward to sharing her faith at the concert. Melody of Faith is a mother-daughter duo from Steele Creek who sing inspiration gospel music.

“This is an opportunity for us to give testimony of what God has done for us, which is the source of joy in our lives, said Booth.

Sandi Sanders, singer and keyboard player for bloodbought, agrees.

“We do a lot of Christian ministry, drug rehabs, homeless shelters … This is another great opportunity to share gospel,” said Sanders, whose four-person band will headline the show, playing contemporary Christian music.

Kannapolis resident Russell, 18, has been performing as a mime for Christian functions since 2010. Russell said he acts out the meaning of the gospel music he plays in the background. Being asked to be a part of the Winter Praise Fest is a big deal to him, he said.

The Griggs, a local favorite, has been around for almost 40 years. With a mandolin and banjo player, the group has bluegrass influences. Terry Grigg, a 57-year-old Stanley resident said, “We are excited to be there. We love to play, but we also love to see people saved.”

The entertainers, from diverse Christian denominations, will come together to spread their message of faith and love. Mark Etchison, of the Tree of Life Ministry, will emcee the event and give a short sermon just before the final performance.

Etchison, who hosts Saturday evening worship service at CommonGround , said was enthusiastic about partnering with We R Forgiven as the host ministry, because it aligned with his purpose as a full-time community pastor: “dissolving denomination lines to come together and worship.”

Etchison is the first community pastor representing Tree of Life Ministry for the United Action of Stanley Churches, a group of area pastors coming to together to serve in Stanley.

Crystal O’Gorman is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Crystal? Email her at crystalogormanwrites@gmail.com.
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