Local pastor is among Star Search finalistsPublished 9:15pm Thursday, May 22, 2014
A soulful rendition of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” has landed Ben Kifer, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Washington, a spot in the finals of East Carolina Star Search talent competition.
And while he enjoys performing, Kifer says his primary motivation for entering the contest is to support Eagle’s Wings food pantry, which reaps financial rewards from the project.
“I’ve been a volunteer for Eagle’s Wings since I moved here,” said Kifer, who has made his home in Washington with his wife Stacey for just over a year. “I want to help Eagle’s Wings … it’s all about benefiting the mission and the ministry of Eagle’s Wings.”
While “Crying” was a hit during last month’s audition process, Kifer plans to change his performance for the June 7 grand finale. But he’s keeping his new song a closely-guarded secret.
Kifer began singing at an early age and he continued as a choir member while attending Agustana College in Illinois.
“I love to sing whenever I get the opportunity,” he said. “I’m a big fan of ’50s and ’60s rock and roll, and of course I love to sing classical Christian music and hymns.”
Kifer often sings with the Grace Lutheran Church choir and he recently performed in two spring concerts with the Beaufort County Choral Society. He admits that he isn’t used to singing solo, which he is doing as a Star Search finalist.
And despite his love of singing, Kifer says he is staying focused on Eagle’s Wings and its goal to alleviate the immediate hunger needs of the impoverished and homeless in the area.
“It’s a noble mission, and one Jesus was very clear about helping those less fortunate,” said Kifer, who serves as chaplain of the food pantry’s board of directors. “Eagle’s Wings is doing God’s work each and every day.”
Kifer said he is looking forward to performing in the final round of competition, which will be played out on the stage of the historic Turnage Theater in downtown Washington. And he added he is pleased with his new hometown.
“My wife and I love it here in Washington,” he said. “We see it as a long term place to live and thrive.”
East Carolina Star Search is presented by Eagle’s Wings and Le Moulin Rouge de Danse. Cash prizes for the top three finalists are donated by Lee Chevrolet and F. Ray Moore Propane.
Tickets for the June 7 final competition may be purchased at Backwater Jacks, Russell’s Men’s Wear and the Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, visit www.ecstarsearch.net.