“Cross” Music Event Highlights Area Christian Artists Ministries

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

At Foot of the cross Ty Gonzalez 235Ty Gonzalez performs at last year’s “At Foot of the Cross”Chris Moore had to do some faith-walking to launch his vision for "At the Foot of the Cross."

"I've kind of learned on my faith journey to take a step forward and see what happens," he said of his musical venture. "But doors just kept on opening and opening and I just kept moving forward."

The first "At the Foot of the Cross" was held two summers ago in a field outside his Easton United Methodist Church in Ionia. He gathered a variety of area Christian music artists and church worship teams for a day-long concert celebration held outdoors in front of a giant cross on the church grounds.

"I've been in various bands, written songs, and run across a lot of talented people around West Michigan," said Moore, a worship leader in his church. "We have some great Christian music festivals with major acts that come with major price tags; and I wanted something that would focus on local music artists and provide them with a place for their ministry where people could come and hear them without charge."

This year the event has moved closer to Grand Rapids – Family of Christ Church in Comstock Park on Henze Dr. NW. It's set for Sat. Aug. 15 (see details below).

"One of the band members we had last year (Dave Nelson of Carpenter's Cross) said he thought his church would work great for something like this," Moore said of the chance to relocate to a larger population area. "The church has really jumped on board with it and is really helping out."


This year's line-up includes some holdovers from previous years – for example, the classic rock and blues of Carpenter's Cross and the Christian rap strains of Ty Gonzalez.
Among the other performances are the contemporary urban gospel of Substance (AKA Orlando Rodriguez), contemporary praise/worship from Sydney Chu of Keystone Church, and gospel praise from Alpha and Omega Ministries in Grand Rapids.

There's also original songs from the husband and wife duo of Rocky and Carrie Roer (see schedule below).

"For some reason this year's music leans more toward urban gospel," Moore noted of the mix of bands and soloists. "But overall I think the caliber of the musicians is up."

Gonzalez is excited to return to the Cross stage once again. "My experience last year was great, although I was a little nervous because my music doesn't have a traditional worship sound," he said.

"But a lot of people enjoyed it and grabbed CDs from me afterwards."

In front of his hometown (Comstock Park) audience Gonzalez will be performing songs from his latest recording, "Dreams For The King."

Moore has added two speakers in the line-up: Gary Ritter from Voice of the Martyrs, an organization that highlights the plight and brings relief to families of Christian martyrs around the world (www.persecution.com). Also, Dawn Scott Jones, co-pastor of Tribes Church in Rockford, will speak.


Moore began "At the Foot of the Cross" in 2013 using his own funds for things such providing a sound system, securing a stage platform and other details. Last year's event offered food and beverages for sale to help toward expenses. This year Moore has established a go-fund-me page online to receive donations.

Moore said Family of Christ Church has been very helpful – including mowing their field behind the church to help with overflow parking. Perhaps it's a coincidence, but their property includes a large cross on the lawn which will provide a backdrop for the stage.

In previous years the event drew between 300-400 persons. But the new location (some call it the "church behind Walmart" just west of Alpine) has potential to draw many more.
"I know people will find a good variety and quality of music and wonderful folks to be around," said Moore of the experience.

Just the Facts:  At The Foot of the Cross – A day-long Christian music event

Noon to 7 p.m. Sat. Aug. 15, Family of Christ Church, 1100 Henze Dr. NW (west of Alpine Ave.), Comstock Park

Suggestions: Bring your own seating, etc. Food available on site. In case of rain event will be held inside.

Admission: Free, but donations accepted during the day. Also can contribute at: http://www.gofundme.com/ya5d5fd5.

For more information online, or Church phone (616) 784-3550.

At the Foot of the Cross: schedule: (times are tentative).
Noon – Opening ceremonies with Chris Moore
12:15 – Carpenter's Cross (classic rock & blues)
1 p.m. – Alpha & Omega Ministries (gospel praise)
1:30 – Rocky & Carrie Roer (husband/wife duo)
2 p.m – Sydney Chu (praise-worship vocalist at Keystone Church)
3 p.m. – Gary Ritter from Voice of the Martyrs
4 p.m. – Michelle Flowers (gospel soloist)
4:30 – Ty "Gonz" Gonzalez (faith-based rap)
5 p.m. - Dawn Scott Jones, co-pastor of Tribes Church in Rockford
5:30 – Substance (Orlando Rodriguez) (contemporary urban)
6:15 – Guitar Glory Band (Christian rock)
6:45 – Closing ceremonies with praise and worship
Author Information
Terry DeBoer
Terry is journalist who writes for newspapers, magazines, newsletters and websites. His most frequented “beat” is arts and entertainment. He is married with two children and lives in Grand Rapids.

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