Three Forks drawing from Mercy's Well
by Sherrie Norris
"We love coming to the High Country area and are always thrilled when someone likes us enough to have us back a second time," said Brad Strider, founder of the Greensboro-based group.
As a bonus, he said, "for at least that night, we'll be close enough to home to be able to sleep in our own beds."
As primarily a gospel group, Mercy's Well blends original music with traditional hymn singing, "sometimes with a spin," Strider said, who is joined in the group by Greg Gainer and Kyle King.
Together, the energetic trio has steadily gained momentum in its 11 years of existence.
"People really seem to love how we've been able to bring it all together," Strider said. "It's music for the church, which requires that unique mix to appeal to fans of all ages. We've got to make sure that we literally offer something for everyone."
The climb toward the top of the gospel ladder hasn't come easily, Strider said.
"We've always worked hard and had high hopes," he said. "But we've had to be patient. We want to make sure that everything is in God's timing."
The group has performed in the Triad area of North Carolina, across the U.S. and Canada, and, more recently, in Scotland and England, Strider said.
"It's really neat how it's all coming together," he said.
Taking the gospel abroad, through song, has been a great experience, Strider said.
"The people over there have been wonderful and received us well," he said.
Averaging approximately 150 dates per year, Mercy's Well also combines the serious with the lighter side of life, adding a little bit of entertainment to the mix, Strider said.
"We like to think that we can bring a night of hope to our audiences. We like to be able to encourage people and help them to see that things aren't always as bad as they seem," he said. "We all get caught up in what the world throws at us, but we like to remind people that there is something bigger than us and something bigger than our problems -- and that's what we sing about. We want people to be able to leave their cares somewhere else for just a little while, at least, and be able to come have a great time with us."
First organized as a duet in 1998, under Strider's leadership, Mercy's Well soon made the natural transition to a trio. From the beginning, the group has produced chart-topping singles and has gained international attention from fans, music critics, pastors and promoters alike.
The group's most recent recording, "Power," promises even greater success, having been described by entertainment critics as "excelling with creative excellence."
The recording, like each performance by Mercy's Well, is a testament to the versatility of the trio, as it encompasses a variety of musical genres, without compromising the gospel message.
"We minister to many people from various walks of life," Strider said. "If we can be an encouragement to someone who is struggling, make them laugh, make them forget their problems for a while, and, most importantly, point them to Christ, we have accomplished our goal. People need hope."
Mercy's Well is carving its own niche in today's Christian music scene and will be making an impression on those who come to see and hear them when they come to Boone.
"We believe we are constantly reaching new levels, lyrically, vocally and spiritually," Strider said. "We believe that's what God expects of us, and our greatest desire is to please him in all we do."
The doors open at 6 p.m. for the Saturday, Oct. 6, concert at Three Forks Baptist Church, located at 1920 Highway 421 South in Boone. Pastor David Ricker extends a welcome to all who will come. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Admission is free and a love offering will be taken. For more information, call Nickie Spinks, church music director, at (828) 264-5417 or visit http://www.mercyswell.com.