High Country Praise Festival expected to draw thousands
by Sherrie Norris
The event, hosted by Sons Light Ministries of Boone, will be held at the Holmes Center on the campus of Appalachian State University, and will feature nationally known recording artists Chris August, Sidewalk Prophets and 7-Miles.
The winners of the 2011 Stars in his Crown Talent Search - Admit 1 - will also be performing.
Eddie Briery will deliver the message. ASU All-American wrestler Austin Trotman and Betsy Bolick of Boone, founder of Small Enough Ministries, will be sharing their testimonies.
This year’s festival continues its tradition of including the annual “Stars In His Crown” Christian Talent Search held on Saturday, Aug. 25 and the SonRun 5K, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 1.
Weather permitting, an outdoor concert and inflatables will kick-start the main event at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
According to its producers, High Country Praise Festival is a worship event designed to have a positive and uplifting impact on the lives of young people and is held on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend each year.
“We are excited about what God is going to do with the festival,” said founder David Ward. “We have been praying every day since last year’s festival for the souls that will be saved and lives that will be changed as God uses this event to advance his kingdom.”
Ward and his wife, Dawn, along with their three daughters, Joy, Jenny and Juile, established Son’s Light Ministries 10 years ago and have witnessed its expansion to a multifaceted community outreach through ministry opportunities.
Located behind Burger King at 174 Boone Heights Drive in Boone, Son’s Light Coffee House serves as the home base for the “safe place,” aimed at the spiritual development of local youth, according to the Wards.
The Wards said that providing exposure to the gospel in a more casual, fun and, perhaps, less intimidating setting is more conducive than a traditional environment to reaching the young people they hoped to serve.
“It is our hope that Son’s Light Ministries continues to help youth and college students come to know God,” Ward said. “We want to bring honor and praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, as we never forget to thank our Heavenly Father for all he has done for us.”
Who are they?
Eddie Briery: A Bible communicator with a desire to see lives transformed by hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Although the majority of Briery’s ministry experience has been on the road, he has served as a student pastor and most recently as a church planter, a person who started a church, in Bossier City, La. His life experience and travels, along with the conviction of the Holy Spirit, have shaped his perspective on life and has given him the ability to connect with all ages. His ministry is based out of Shreveport, La., which he, his wife, Ashley, and their daughter, Gracee, call home.
Sidewalk Prophets: Dove Award winners for Best New Artist and a nomination for Pop and Contemporary Album of the Year, with numerous chart-topping hits. “It’s not easy for any of us to do what God has called us to do, to go make disciples of the world,” said lead singer Dave Frey. “It’s not a safe thing to try to live like Christ. You’re going to have people criticize you and put you down. It says that in the Book of James.”
Chris August: Contemporary Christian musician who began recording as a secular musician before switching to Christian music. His song, “Starry Night,” reached No.1 on the Billboard Christian Songs chart in 2010 and 2011. He was nominated at the 2011 Dove Awards in five categories, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year.
7-Miles: Since 1997, the Nashville-based Christian rock band has been touring the country and is known for its diversity from hard rock to worship ballads. The central theme of the group’s music is the idea of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Doors will open for the festival at 3:30 p.m.; the event will conclude at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. Tickets may be obtained through the Holmes Center box office by calling (828) 262-6603 or by visiting http://www.theholmescenter.com. For more information, call Son’s Light Ministries at (828) 264-2007, email (email@example.com) or visit http://www.sonslightministries.com.