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Festival Park to host prayer, song

Prayer teams, praise bands and those seeking fellowship will converge on the Washington waterfront Saturday for an afternoon of Christian celebration.

Praisefest 2012, the first event of its kind in Washington, will take over Festival Park from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m, said Emily Mayne, event organizer.

“It’s kind of an inaugural event,” explained Mayne. “I just think it’s going to be a different way to come together.  It’s not about church; it’s not about any kind of ritual. It’s just about Jesus.”

Mayne said the idea for Praisefest came to her a couple of years ago and as time passed, the urge to put the idea into motion became stronger — creating a joyous environment with unity and fellowship regardless of age, denomination, race or any divisive factor. On board were friends from different churches and different denominations who saw that power of such a gathering, said Mayne.

The bands slated to play the event are the River City Praise Band from River City Christian Center on River Road in Washington and Divine Obsession and 6:22 Ministries, both contemporary Christian rock groups out of Greenville.

“It’s going to be a music festival type atmosphere but the focus is on the Lord,” said Mayne. In addition to the music, inspiration comes in the form of dancing, testimonials, and guest speakers and missionaries Kent and Bev Maddox, she continued.

By popular request, during the event a boat will take participants, who request to do so, to be baptized in the river at a neighboring sandbar. Six prayer teams will gather together each hour for those in need of prayer. Those attending are invited to bring their own food, beverages and chairs.

Mayne views PraiseFest 2012 as a regional event — everyone is invited.

“I hope that people will have a fresh God encounter or maybe a different God encounter than maybe they’ve had before.”