BUCKHANNON – Folks need to mark their calendars, grab their lawn chairs and head on down to Jawbone Park for an evening of singing and celebrating the birthday of the Church on Sunday.
The Upshur Parish Methodist Churches will sponsor the annual Pentecost Gospel Sing Sunday at 6 p.m. on Sunday, June 6 p.m. at Jawbone Park in Buckhannon. Kristi Wilkerson, director at Upshur Cooperative Parish: Parish House and Crosslines, Inc., said everyone is welcome to attend the event and reminded people to bring their own chair. Wilkerson said even though the event will be out-of-doors, they do encourage folks to wear face coverings and to be mindful of social distancing.
“This event has happened for years, and it will offer a nice time for folks to gather and enjoy live music while celebrating the birthday of the church,” Wilkerson said. “We normally gather at Jerry Run Summer Theater, just over the county line into Webster County, but they will not be reopening until early July, so we are going to have it at Jawbone Park since it offers an open-air venue.”
Wilkerson said the event offers different types of music, including groups, individuals and church choirs.
“It will be a variety of genres – church music of all kinds,” Wilkerson said. “This event is free and open to anyone who wants to attend.”
Wilkerson said due to COVID, there was no Gospel Sing last year.
“We are excited to be able to have it again this year,” she said. “I went to the one two years ago and it was a really nice evening.”
Marvin Carr, coordinator of the Upshur Parish, said he is pleased the Gospel Sing will be held this year and said he helped get the event started several years ago. He said the last Gospel Sing attracted more than 50 people, and Renee Anderson has been the captain/coordinator for the last few years and has done a marvelous job. Carr said he hopes moving the event back to Jawbone Park will serve to attract more attendees.
Anderson said the Gospel Sing has been going on for a long time – longer than when she got involved 15 or 20 years ago.
“We had it over at Holly River Park and before that, it was held in Buckhannon,” Anderson said. “We have had it at the Jerry Run Summer Theater for several years. Last year we could not have the sing at all because of the pandemic.”
Anderson said this year, the event has moved back to Buckhannon, specifically Jawbone Park, because they thought having it outdoor would be the best for this year.
“We are hoping more Upshur County people will attend the Pentecost Gospel Sing,” Anderson said. “It is free and open to the public. The event is non-denominational, and there will be singers from the Methodist Churches and other churches.”
Anderson said she hopes people will come out to the Pentecost Gospel Sing on Sunday.
“Celebrate that life is getting back to normal and enjoy that live music is becoming a thing again,” Anderson said. “It will be an evening of praise and worship-type music. We have about five or so local groups. If any others come to play, we will accommodate them. Each group will play four songs or so. It will be a nice, enjoyable, uplifting Pentecostal experience for people.”
Anderson said there is no offering during the event, but attendees wishing to make a contribution are encouraged to donate food, clothing or money to the Upshur Parish House, which would be much appreciated.
She said the hope is that Marvin Carr will round out the evening by playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.