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Featured Articles

Terry’s Picks: October 2016

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts and entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for October:

New Music: Music Video Review

Beacon LIght CD235The West Michigan based gospel rap/hip-hop artist Beacon Light has released his fourth album, titled "Lit." Its boisterous song "Haters" is showcased in a remarkable new video.

The video version pictures the artist fleeing from an SWAT-style group of armed soldiers in an abandoned building. With some cool slow motion and other special effects, he stands up to the threat proclaiming, "I love the haters."

There are plenty of beats, drops, dance moves and other of the genre's stylish features.

‘Same Kind of Different As Me’ Author to Speak at Guiding Light Banquet

Ron Hall 235 Hall’s feature film will be released early next year.There was a time when Ron Hall would have been an unlikely guest speaker for Guiding Light Mission's Oct. 5 annual banquet.

Equally improbable was him becoming an advocate for the homeless and a New York Times best-selling author, as well as a new feature film to be released early next year.

High finance, owning his own art gallery and working as an international art dealer who bought and sold museum quality masterpieces in major countries were Hall's career priorities years ago.

Best Seller's List September

Bestsellers – September, 2016

1. Without Warning – Lynette Eason
2. Selfless Act – Wanda Brunstetter
3. Guide Me Home – Kim Vogel Sawyer
4. 2nd Half – Lauraine Snelling
5. Witness – Robert Witlow
6. Until I Love Again – Jerry Eicher
7. Traces Of Guile – Dee Henderson
8. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Brown
9. If I Run – Terri Blackstock
10. Gone Without A Trace – Patricia Bradley

From Mellow to Metal: A Packed Christian Concert Menu for Fall

Wilson JOsh performing 2015Josh WilsonAs the fall season sweeps in, there are plenty of musical offerings from faith-based artists in a variety of West Michigan venues.

Just compiling and listing them all in a single column is a challenge.

From Muskegon to Holland to Grand Rapids, there's music from Southern gospel to classical, aimed at audiences from youthful to senior citizen and everything in between.

‘Who I am In Christ’ Pocketbook Points Readers to Lord’s Promises of Victory

Dave  Kathi Byker 235 Evangelist Mike Benson holds the Spanish and English versions of “Who I am In Christ.”Some 25 years ago, an elderly woman who lived in Florida handed Kathi "Kibby" Byker a stack of lined paper with a string of Bible verses handwritten on them.

The woman made it clear the reason why she was giving the pile of papers to Byker.

"She had written them out in her shaky little handwriting," recalled Byker, who now lives in Grandville with her husband of 45 years, Dave. "She said to me, 'Here honey, you're going to need to know who you are in Christ.' I was a new Christian then, and after I became a Christian, I started listening to God's voice and felt it (the scriptures) needed to be in book form."

W.O.W. Ends Season on High Note

WOW crowd A huge crowd saw Mark Schultz close this year’s W.O.W. series Four long-term volunteers are retiring after years of service with the summertime "Worship on the Waterfront" (W.O.W.) series at Grand Haven's Waterfront Stadium.

At this year's final event on Sun. Aug. 28, a crowd of more than 2,500 gathered to hear inspirational singer-songwriter Mark Schultz. And the audience also showed its appreciation to volunteers Irv Boersen, Bob Bennett, Sharon Yonker and Carolyn Manting.

Cowboy Church Lassos Church-Shy People With Music, Testimonies

Cowboy 1235 Four of the seven-member Old Time Gospel Singers perform songs that included “When He Was On The Cross, I Was On His Mind”; and “That Night Old Jack Daniels Met John 3:16.”Loneliness washed over Gloria Cole of Sand Lake when her husband of 52 years died in January 2016. Since his passing, she's been attending the 2nd Chance Cowboy Church to ease her solitary life.

"It gives me a night not be to home alone and to hear God's Word and the beautiful music and hear Ron share about what he's doing for troubled kids," said Cole.

Terry’s Picks: September 2016

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts and entertainment events over the coming month that might otherwise be overlooked. Here are three highlights for September:

Donut Shop’s Closing in Heartside District Illustrates Need to ‘Work Collaboratively’

Stuart Ray Propaganda Doughnuts Guiding Light Mission executive director Stuart Ray said the recent closing of a donut shop in the Heartside neighborhood punctuates the need for sustainable, collaborative solutions.The recent closing of a donut shop in the Heartside district of Grand Rapids illustrates the need to do less finger pointing and more implementing of achievable solutions, according to the head of an area nonprofit ministry.

"I don't know if we're doing anyone any favors by blaming anybody versus finding more common, more sustainable solutions," said Stuart Ray, executive director of Guiding Light Mission.

The Heartside District is bounded roughly by Fulton and Wealthy streets and Grandville and Lafayette avenues. Guiding Light is located in the core of Heartside at 255 S. Division where it provides homeless men with temporary shelter, substance abuse counseling, employment assistance and biblically based mentorship programs.

‘Worship Night’ Coming to West Michigan Theaters

Tomlin kneeling 235 Chris Tomlin (center) and fellow music artists kneel at “Worship Night in America”Picture this: author/pastors Max Lucado and Louie Giglio, singer-songwriter worship leader Chris Tomlin and several other special guests lead a "Worship Night in America," showing one-night only in select theaters and churches nationwide.

The on-screen event, scheduled for Tues. Oct. 25, is actually a presentation of a sold-out gathering taped earlier this summer in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Interviews and back-stage footage are part of the package.

Third Day Still Clicks with Worship Mix

Third Day235Third Day (l. to r.) Mark Lee, Mac Powell, David CarrThird Day is a heritage Christian band with a stack of hit songs and slew of awards over its 20+ year recording history. Along the way they've played to a generation of followers. But recently they were introduced to some new friends.

"We were on tour with Steven Curtis Chapman, and some nights we asked the crowd if they had ever seen us (in concert) before," said Third Day lead singer Mac Powell of their concert pairing.

"There definitely were some who never had. So hopefully we are making some new fans."
Powell and his Third Day band mates are still riding on their 2015 release "Lead Us Back." Although worship-based songs are sprinkled throughout their catalog, this collection is their first full-fledged worship album in 12 years.

New Book Urges Pastors to Avoid Making Sermon Preparation Solo Act

Calvin College Chaplain 235 Calvin College chaplain Rev. Mary Hulst’s book advises pastors to receive sermon pointers from their congregation.Every minister who puzzles over ideas for his or her next sermon shares a common trait: They want their congregations to grasp a nugget of biblical insight that will help them understand God on some deeper level.

And those listening to the sermons will affirm that doesn't always happen.

Rev. Mary S. Hulst's new book, "A Little Handbook for Preachers: Ten Practical Ways to a Better Sermon by Sunday" (InterVarsity Press, 191 pages) intends to bridge that gap so pastors' sermons can spiritually resonate with their parishioners.

Let's Make a Deal

dan seabornDan SeabornI like to do something notoriously associated with the female gender. Let's just say it involves clothing, sometimes high heels, undergarments and even an occasional teddy. Oh for Pete's sake now before your mind wanders too far in the wrong direction let me just tell you right up front – I like to shop, especially for good deals!

I particularly like shopping for my wife, Jane, which means I frequent what would traditionally be known as women's stores searching for what might be called "delicates". Trust me when I say I get some pretty strange looks and concerned glances when I shop there. But once these ladies see that I'm serious about finding a deal or not settling for anything except a perfect match in colors and accessories, they accept me as one of their own!

New Music Preview: "Ahead"

LaHaie Perry - Ahead- single 235rSinger-songwriter, music minister and West Michigan radio personality Perry LaHaie has released a new music video for the title track of his latest album, "Ahead."

Picturing LaHaie and his guitar walking down a desolate gravel road, the lyrics are a musical prayer for strength and guidance. The theme hinges on the quote from Navigators' founder Dawson Trottman which suggests, "....when you can't see very far ahead, go as far ahead as you can see."

Faith Hospice Witnesses Terminally Ill Patients’ Inner Strength, ‘Amazing Stories’

Trillium Woods cutline 235(left to right): Rene' Wheaton is Faith Hospice’s administrator and Vila “Vi” Daniel is its chaplain. Faith Hospice chaplain Vila "Vi" Daniel has witnessed first hand terminally ill people end their final days on Earth with an expectation that their lives will indeed continue after leaving this mortal coil.

"I think the bottom line is that they feel a presence, they feel God is in their midst," said Daniel recently at Trillium Woods, 8214 Pfeiffer Farms Drive SW in Byron Center. Trillium is the residential hospice center of Faith Hospice, which is Holland Homes' hospice care division.

Best Seller's List August

Bestsellers – August, 2016

1. 2nd Half – Lauraine Snelling
2. Sea Rose Lane – Irene Hannon
3. Sensible Shoes – Sharon Brown
4. If I Run – Terri Blackstock
5. Traces of Guilt – Dee Henderson
6. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
7. Missing – Lisa Harris
8. Like A River From Its Course – Kelli Stuart
9. Beauty Refined – Tracie Peterson
10. Deadly Encounter – DiAnn Mills

Duct Tape Families

dan seabornDan SeabornHave you tried to fix a child's toy or a kitchen utensil by conventional means only to have it break five minutes later? Do you remember the last time something broke and you didn't have the right tools at the time to fix it? I've encountered both dilemmas and have turned to duct tape for fast, effective relief. I've used duct tape, just like you, for almost every problem in my life. I've sealed leaky containers, fixed an old broom, held the door closed, and even had some fun with people.

But like everything in life, there are challenges even when it comes to handling duct tape. Challenges I don't like but are an inevitable part of the process. It's when you peel off a lengthy piece and just as you are about to apply it to the repair you are hoping to make, the piece of tape actually gets stuck to itself. The two sticky sides cling together like magnets and from my experience it is impossible to pull them apart. When duct tape adheres to itself, it stops being an effective tool to repair a particular item, but as a bonding product it provides an excellent example for us as to what can happen when we apply this kind of adhesiveness to our lives.

New Book, Movie Editions of Ben-Hur Releasing a Month Apart

ben235Carol Wallace never got through her great-great-grandfather's magnum opus Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, first published in 1880.

"I always lumped it in with books that were great stories but too boring to read, like The Last of the Mohicans and all of Jules Verne's books," said Wallace from her New York City apartment.

But she grew up in a house full of books and her dad was an American history buff keen on his ancestor Lew Wallace. Her parents attended the New York City premier of the 1959 movie Ben-Hur, and she enjoyed the book The Story of the Making of Ben-Hur, which released when the original movie came out.

Judah Ben-Hur is a Jewish prince betrayed by a Roman friend and sent into slavery. He survives and gains his freedom, and returns to Israel to exact revenge. But his encounters with a Nazarene carpenter named Jesus change his life.

Unity Festival Celebrates Music and More

Battistelli F. performingFrancesca Batistelli performs Wednesday night at UnityIt seems there's something new each year at the Unity Christian Music Festival in Muskegon.

Sure, there's still four days of great Christian music from bands such as Switchfoot and Newsboys, a kid's Fun Zone, low-priced food tents, and various vendor and non-profit displays.

But this year, get ready for the debut of "Art and Soul."

'We're always looking for ways to engage our guests in innovative ways," said Unity director of marketing Christopher VanOosterhout. "We have an artist (Tony Goodwin) coming to help guide participants through a session where they will find the truth of our loving God revealed in art."

At The Foot of the Cross

at the foot of the cross 235“Music artists and organizers pray before last year’s “At the Foot of the Cross”The fourth annual "At the Foot of the Cross" musical event is going under the big top.

"This year we have a large, high-peaked tent big enough to have the stage and the audience under," said founder/organizer Chris Moore.

It should improve conditions from last year's sun-scorching heat that left both the artists and audience uncomfortably warm.

The Sat. Aug. 6 event, featuring several area Christian music artists and ensembles, will once again be held outside of Family of Christ Church on Henze St. NW in Comstock Park – just west of the Alpine Ave. Walmart store.

The gathering's dramatic backdrop is a 20 foot high cross set up on the church grounds.
"The goal is still to showcase area Christian musicians, and regardless of church denomination to be together celebrating and worshipping the Lord," said Moore, himself a church worship leader.

Where They Are Now: 2nd Chance School Still Work in Progress, but Cowboy Church is a Hit

2nd Chance FOLLOW-UP 235 1 Ron Silverman continues to work to make his equine faith-based school, 2nd Chance, a reality.Editor's note: West Michigan Christian News begins a new occasional series that follow-up with ministries and people previously featured. We begin with Solon Township-based 2nd Chance School.

Ron Silverman's dream to launch a faith-based school in Solon Township for at-risk teens using horses and biblical training is still a work in progress but strides have been made to make his goal a reality.

Silverman succeeded in purchasing Calvary Assembly of God's church and its accompanying six acres on 17 Mile Road. He intends to use the building as an alternative year-round Christian school Silverman has named 2nd Chance School. Once operational, it would teach 30 boys and girls at a time.

Terry’s Picks: August 2016

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian web writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts and entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for August:

Drawing “A Line in the Sand” for 20 Years: The Dove Foundation

people watching235* Republished from our February 2011 edition

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing -Edmund Burke

GRAND RAPIDS - Dick Rolfe is an understated West Michigan native whose influence far exceeds this geographical area. In fact, like most prophets, he has more honor outside his own 'country.' The legendary Steve Allen, very first host of The Tonight Show, once told him: "Dick, you're a household name in Hollywood, but no one in Grand Rapids knows who you are."

Wife/Author Shares Journey of Parting in New Book

memoirCarol Rottman has journaled for most of her life, so it made perfect sense to journal about her husband Fritz's journey through Alzheimer's disease and cancer.

She didn't have as much free time as in earlier years, but when she had a few minutes she recorded thoughts, feelings and emotions during this difficult time. Those journal entries have become her newest book titled "A Memoir of Parting," which came out earlier this year through Principia Media.

"I'd think about something for several days before writing it down," said Rottman. "Looking back, the book feels real and honest because it was written while everything was happening. I wrote because I needed to work things out in my head."

“Combo” Concert Tickets Entice Christian Music Fans

Selah 235Selah There are a couple of "super combo ticket" deals for Christian music concerts this fall that might make you want to scoop up your tickets early.

One of the specials is in effect only through July 28: a ticket for both the Thur. Oct. 13 Jeremy Camp concert at Kentwood Community Church and the Fri. Dec. 16 Christmas concert with the inspirational trio Selah in Christ Chapel at Cornerstone University is $36.
At press time, separate Jeremy Camp concert tickets were not yet on sale, but the combo pass is likely a savings over purchasing tickets separately. (Tickets for just the Selah concert are on sale at $19 general admission, $25 artist circle).


A Dream Realized by Connor Orr, a student with Apraxia at Byron Center Christian School

donuntComstock Park, MI, July 15, 2016, Connor Orr, who was born with apraxia, had a dream realized this morning at Marge's Donut Den in Wyoming.

Connor loves to bake cinnamon rolls. He also loves Jesus. And when his 8th grade class had a Good Samaritan Project (GPS) this spring, he combined his two loves in a very savvy way. See, the GSP required students to use one of their God-given gifts to help someone in another country.

Connor took his gift of making cinnamon rolls and advertised them for sale on Facebook. He told his story, sold the rolls and made $583! He then took that money and donated it to World Mission in order that Treasures – solar-powered audio Bibles – could be sent to people who are oral learners so that they can hear about Jesus's love. Connor's donation will touch over 2000 people. That is called maximizing gift impact!

Administrators: Grand Rapids Christian Schools Intentionally Combat Racism, Traces City’s Underbelly

AMDG Architects Speaker Series 235cutline No. 1(left to right): AMDG Architects principal Peter Baldwin, Grand Rapids Christian High School chaplain Mark Kuiper and Grand Rapids Christian Middle School principal Ashanti Bryant discussed racism’s continued problems and solutions.The "Mustache Saga" remains a vivid example of how racism reared its head in Grand Rapids in the late 1960s, said Grand Rapids Middle School principal Ashanti Bryant.

Black male students who came of age in 1966-67 were ordered by white South High School administrators in the Grand Rapids Public Schools district to shave their mustaches.

Often times the deed was done in the hallway, said Bryant. It was a time when black civil rights leaders such as Jesse Jackson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X all sported hair on their upper lip, and thus the mustache ban, which was eventually rescinded, was considered a slight against black students.

New Music Preview: "So Kind"

beal235Singer, songwriter and worship leader Dwight Beal is doing things a little differently on his first ever solo project.

After decades of self-producing music with long time musical partner John Grooters, Beal (a worship leader at Central Wesleyan Church in Holland), yielded the producer's role on his new effort to Tommee Profitt.

Profitt, of Grand Rapids, has worked with national Christian artists such as Britt Nicole and Colton Dixon.

Best Seller's List July

Bestsellers – July, 2016

1. Traces of Guilt – Dee Henderson
2. Sea Rose Lane – Irene Hannon
3. If I Run – Terri Blackstock
4. Brush of Wings – Karen Kingsbury
5. Third Target – Joel Rosenberg
6. Sins Of The Past – Henderson/Pettrey/Eason
7. Silence In The Dark – Patricia Bradley
8. No Other Will Do – Karen Witemeyer
9. First Hostage – Joel Rosenberg
10. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Garlough Brown

Prayer Bathes LIFE International’s Life-Giving Ministry

Life International cutline No. 1235 Prayer request are inserted in the stonewall of LIFE International’s prayer room.Tucked in the stonewall of LIFE International's prayer room/chapel are scraps of paper with prayer requests written on them. Resembling mini scrolls, they cover the gamut of personal, international and community prayers but share one commonality: They are the heart cries from people seeking answers from an all-knowing, all-loving God.

"The prayers are placed by individuals knowing that this space is solely dedicated to prayer and worship," said Bill Velker, LIFE International's director of prayer mobilization. "Even when no one is present, the worship music continues to play through the sound system and I believe people have a sense that their prayer requests are ever before the Lord."

Waterfront Worship Series Underway

Schultz mark at WOW 6-15 235 Mark Schultz performs at WOW again this year Aug. 28.It was a sunny and warm Sunday evening in downtown Grand Haven for the June 26 opening of the annual Worship on the Waterfront (W.O.W.) series in Waterfront Stadium. Opening night featured the local duo of John Grooters and Dwight Beal (also known as Grooters & Beal).

"Those guys led the crowd as only they can with many familiar worship songs and some original music," said Kathleen Bobeldyk, who helps book the artists for the weekly series.
A crowd estimated at more than 1,200 took in WOW's opening evening, a number sure to grow as summertime momentum builds and national acts take the stage.

Evil and the Power of the Cross

cross9The central story of the Christian Faith is contained in the Gospel. At its' heart the Gospel declares that Jesus died on the Cross to forgive our sin and rose from the dead to give us a resurrection or new life with the Lord.

For most of the Church world, the Cross then is the instrument that the Lord used to forgive sin through the Lord Jesus' atoning death. And while that is gloriously true, there is one aspect of the Cross that is not discussed much these days. The Cross was also the instrument that dealt a death blow to evil. You see behind human sin lies powers and principalities that are often hidden and unseen. For many Christians this dimension of the Cross is hard to talk about, but surely it is important.

Terry’s Picks: July 2016

EVENTSWest Michigan Christian News writer Terry DeBoer surveys the landscape for the area's faith-based arts and entertainment events over the coming month. Here are three highlights for July:

Trinity United Methodist Initiates Community Partnerships

Trinity UMC cutline 235 1 The Little Free Library is a standing example of how Trinity United Methodist is a resource to the community.Displayed on the grounds of Trinity United Methodist Church (TUMC) is a green wooden box with a Little Free Library sign affixed to that offers free books to passers-by. Nearby on the church's lush green lawn is a bowl of fresh water just in case neighbors' parched pooches need to slake their thirst.

Inside the church, the pounding rhythms to a "Fame: the Musical" song resounds as a group of students associated with stageGR rehearse for their June 30-July 1 performances at the Ladies Literary Club.

Finding a Leader

leader225Choosing a leader who is what you think he or she is, who actually will lead, and who will be able to step up to unknown challenges ahead is a tall order. Finding a leader is sometimes more difficult than following a leader.

American politics is replete with examples of leaders who turned out to be less than advertised. Herbert Hoover was a highly successful businessman; he'd get the country's economy moving. But the Great Depression overwhelmed him. Richard Nixon ran on a "law and order" theme. Need I say more?

Maranatha’s New Look Ready for Summer Ministry

The Martins235The Martins perform on August 6Gary Feenstra is finally back in his office and behind his desk.

The Maranatha Bible Conference executive director and his staff had to temporarily relocate during extensive renovations to the Lodge, the main guest room/office facility for the Christian conference/retreat ministry. "We're now using the building at full capacity as we touch up a few very minor things," he reported.

Acton University Speaker Exemplifies Sustainable Solution to Poverty

Acton Institute University cutline235 Magatee Wade: “I know the best way to serve God is to serve His favorite creation: us.”Magatte Wade is a convincing example of what an entrepreneur can accomplish when she decides the best way to veer from poverty is to possess the can-do determination to create wealth and prosperity for herself.

This is admittedly easier said than done, said Wade, who was one of four plenary speakers at Grand Rapids-based think tank, the Acton Institute's June 14-17 Acton University held at the DeVos Place in downtown Grand Rapids. The annual event drew 1,000 people from 75 countries.

The Cost Of Kids

dollarsPeople often ask young married couples when they're going to start having kids. Often the response those people hear is something like "We're gonna wait 'til it's affordable."

My wife and I had the same idea when we were newly married. But when it comes to having children, I've found that waiting until there's enough money is also a bit of a pipe dream.
Estimates these days show that raising children costs, on average, a half million dollars per child. Five hundred thousand bucks is no small chunk of change. In fact, divide it up over a span of eighteen years—newborn to adult—and you're looking at almost $28,000 per child per year. That's about $77 a day, almost $3 per hour, easily enough to make any parent look at their pay stubs and shudder.

Festival Features A Big Ticket Line-Up

Tomlin Chris235 Chris Tomlin returns to Big Ticket on June 23According to director Drew Spanding, a ticket to the Big Ticket Festival gets you something big.

"There's so much going on at the festival, but you're still only paying concert ticket prices," said Spanding, from his office in Gaylord, MI, site of the annual festival.

Christian music is at the forefront of Big Ticket, June 23-25 at the Otsego Country Fairgrounds.

Main stage headliners include TobyMac and Chris Tomlin (on the 23rd), Switchfoot (24th) and NeedtoBreathe (25th). You might expect to pay $35 (the festival's daily admission price) for a typical concert by such artists.

Love INC’s Collaboration Fosters Success in People’s Lives

Love INC1 235 Love INC of Allendale executive director Sonya Archer: “We take our denomination hat off at the door because we all serve the same God.”Sonya Archer issues a two-word reply of astonishment when asked what Love In The Name Of Christ (INC) of Allendale accomplishes for people.

"Oh, wow," said Archer, executive director of the nonprofit Christian ministry the last eight years.

"I don't know how to explain what we do. We just try to be really resourceful."

Best Selling List june

Bestsellers – June, 2016

1. Traces of Guilt – Dee Henderson
2. If I Run – Terri Blackstock
3. Brush of Wings – Karen Kingsbury
4. Sea Rose Lane – Irene Hannon
5. Behold The Man – Bodie & Brock Thoene
6. Sins Of The Past – Henderon/Pettrey/Eason
7. Atonement – Beverly Lewis Thin Ice – Irene Hannon
8. Two Steps Forward – Sharon Brown
9. Treasure Concealed – Tracie Peterson
10. Quieting – Suzanne Fisher

Praise Series Begins Fifth Season

Bill Colin wider shotBill Colin leads his Rockford Baptist praise team at Praise in the Park.The sounds of praise music are once again wafting through Garden Club Park in Rockford on summer Sunday evenings.

The annual "Praise in the Park" series – featuring Christian bands as well as praise teams from various northern Kent County churches – kicked off its fifth season on June 5, led by musicians from Rockford Baptist Church.

Although there was a cool breeze, the early evening turned out to be the sunniest part of the opening Sunday.

GR Festival Hosts Inspiring Arts, Artists

festival235The annual Grand Rapids Festival of the Arts (June 3-5) brings its usual array of Christian arts and entertainment events to its downtown stages and exhibits.

"All of the faith-based performances always get a good response from festival-goers of all ages," said Festival co-chair Becky Richard. "Many of the performances draw large crowds."

There are several church-affiliated ensembles which seem to appear every year.
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