Gospel Fest: Luther Barnes, Men of Faith will perform at Festival ParkPublished 9:56pm Friday, October 25, 2013
Mae Rodgers grew up listening to The Vine Connection long before she worked there. For a while, she thought it all would come to an end. The AM radio station’s owner had other plans for the frequency that had piped gospel music into Beaufort County homes for generations.
Now, the station has a new home on 104.5 FM and reaches homes as far away as Jacksonville and Morehead City.
The Vine Connection will celebrate its grand opening as an FM station with Family Gospel Fest, an eight-hour celebration with speakers, dancers and choirs at Festival Park.
“I’m grateful to God for the concert and for putting an FM station in my hands,” Rodgers said. “It’s more like water in the desert because the tower is in Aurora. It’s not supposed to be here in Washington or reach as far as it does.”
To show her gratitude, Rodgers wanted to pass on the good fortune. She started a shoe drive to benefit the people of Haiti. People can drop off gently used shoes at the Market Street radio station, Washington Utilities or the Grace Harwell Senior Center on Main Street.
The shoe drive will end at the Nov. 2 Gospel Fest, where Rodgers asked that people bring five pairs of gently used shoes.
Headlining the fest will be Men of Faith and Luther Barnes.
Men of Faith is a Southern gospel group from Winterville.
“They have performed at Music in the Streets and several churches,” Rodgers said.
Luther Barnes is a record producer, songwriter and lead singer of Luther Barnes and the Sunset Jubilaires and the Red Budd Gospel Choir. He has been nominated for a Grammy and was inducted into the International Gospel Music Hall of Fame.
Other acts will include Christ-like; Deacon Raymond Harrell and the Hassel Gospel Singers; K-Os; Clyde Felton and the Spiritual Journey; and Voices of Distinction.
“I don’t think we’ve had anything like this. It’s going to be nice,” Rodgers said. “It’s all God and he’s been making the way.”
Family Gospel Fest will be at Festival Park Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.