Musical Inspiration To Fill the Summer Air

Written by Terry DeBoer on . Posted in Local

jasonJason Crabb sings Aug. 13 in Grand HavenCampgrounds, conference facilities, and other venues in West Michigan are finalizing preparations for their summertime inspirational concert series.

Maranatha Bible Conference in Muskegon, Worship On The Waterfront in downtown Grand Haven, Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel in Dorr, Gospel Music Barn in Hudsonville, and the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds on Lakeshore Dr. between Holland and Grand Haven all feature weekend concerts that are open to the public on a free-will-offering basis. (Details below).

And for Memorial Day weekend, the music is already underway.

The male quartet Voices of Victory performs at 7 p.m. on Mon. May 29 at the Christian Reformed Conference Grounds, on Lakeshore Dr. south of Grand Haven.

Their 7 p.m. Saturday concerts begin June 10 with The Metropolitan Choir of Praise.

The Conference Grounds is entering the second year in its $2.7 worship center, a year-round multipurpose facility which hosts concerts, worship and other special events.

Worship/program director Dawn Bouman says several family-based groups highlight this season's schedule, including The Browns (June 24), and The Talleys (Aug. 12). The Singing Crusaders, a male chorus directed by Dan Gillett (also pastor of First Reformed Church of Holland) performs Aug.19.


Maranatha Bible Conference on Lake Harbor Road south of Muskegon continues to host Saturday night concerts in its historic "Tabernacle" facility just a brief walk from the Lake Michigan shoreline.

 "We have a great mix of new faces and old favorites and I really believe there's something for everyone," noted program coordinator Meredith Melby Eastburg. "Old favorites" include the Matthews Brothers (July 8), the vocal trio Selah (July 22) and singer-songwriter Andrew Peterson (July 29), all of whom have performed there in previous years.

Among the new faces: singer Ellie Holcomb (July 1), a former Dove Award winner as new artist of the year with a brand new album, "Red Sea Road."

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Although the rustic auditorium holds more than 800, crowd totals often surpasses that with many fans choosing to sit outdoors adjacent to the open-air building and listen to the music.

Meanwhile, farther south along the Lake Michigan shoreline and into the Grand Haven channel is Waterfront Stadium, site of the Sunday night Worship on the Waterfront series. WOW kicks off June 25 with singer-worship leader Jake Hamilton.

"This year's schedule came together exceptionally well," said Kathleen Bobeldyk, talent coordinator for this outreach ministry of the city's First Reformed Church.

"We take peoples suggestions seriously and some of this year's booked artists are a direct result of people asking for them," she added.
Singer Jordan Feliz, fresh from a tour with Michael W. Smith, performs July 2. Feliz's signature song, "The River," was a staple on Christian radio soon after its release.

A real "get" for WOW is singer-songwriter Jamie Grace (July 23). The young talent's debut song ("Hold Me") topped the Christian music charts six years ago and was nominated for a Grammy Award. Reportedly, she's readying a new album for later this year.

Solo artist Jason Crabb returns (Aug. 13) and crowd favorite Mark Schultz once again closes out the WOW season Aug. 27.

Bobeldyk says that WOW's growth through the years (attendance often tops 3,000) has proved a need for additional volunteers and series sponsors. Check out their re-vamped website  for more information.


Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel, part of the Sandy Pines Resort community southwest of Dorr, hosts inspirational concerts at 6 p.m. Sundays. This year's line-up, featuring predominantly Southern gospel artists, begins May 28 with The Craguns, a family-based singing group.

Nationally known artists such as The Martins (July 16), The Isaacs (Aug. 20) and Ernie Haase & Signature Sound (Sept. 3) lead the schedule. The Voices of Lee, a choral ensemble from Lee University in Tennessee, fills the platform on June 11.

Numerous Sandy Pines residents attend the concerts, but they are also open to the public. Bringing your own seating is highly recommended. Use the 26th Ave. entrance (south of 142nd Ave.)

The Gospel Music Barn at Chapel in the Pines in Hudsonville is celebrating its 50th Anniversary with a tribute to the late gospel singer-songwriter Ray Overholt at 6 p.m. Fri. June 16.  Overholt's songs such as "Ten Thousand Angels" and "Hallelujah Square" have been recorded by dozens of gospel artists. The following day will be a musical celebration with various groups performing from 3 to 8 p.m.

The "barn" just off 64th Ave. features music every Friday and Saturday night throughout the summer.
Music director Doug Zwyghuizen reports that the annual quartet jubilee is July 14-15 with a number of area groups participating. Gospel bluegrass is highlighted Aug. 18-19 with the long-time area group Down Home headlining the stage at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

Details: all concerts are on a free-will offering basis, no tickets required.
For complete schedules and other info, contact information is below:

Christian Reformed Conference Grounds
12253 Lakeshore Drive, Grand Haven

Maranatha Bible Conference
4759 Lake Harbor Rd. Muskegon
concerts 7 p.m. Saturdays June 24-Labor Day weekend

Worship on the Waterfront (WOW)
Waterfront Stadium, Harbor Dr. downtown Grand Haven
concerts 7 p.m. Sundays June 25-Aug. 28

Sandy Pines Lakeside Chapel
3630 26th St. Dorr
Concerts 6 p.m. Sundays May 28-Sept. 3

Gospel Music Barn
6881 64th Ave. Hudsonville
concerts 6 and 7:10 p.m. Fri. and Sat. through Sept.10

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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