Locals brave rain to hear Christian sound

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 30, 2003

VIDALIA, La. &045; With tents pitched and umbrellas raised, a couple hundred devoted community members braved the initial rain of Saturday night’s concert under the Mississippi River bridge.

G.S. Megaphone headlined the &uot;Out of my mind&uot; festival sponsored by Miss-Lou churches. The band, based out of Bloomington, Ind., plays modern rock. They do not go through the technicalities of calling themselves a Christian band but they are part of a Christian label, Spindust Records, having released two albums in their two and a half years together.

One Way, a local praise and worship band from Northeast Louisiana, began the nondenominational festival at 7 p.m., playing from a flatbed trailer. When the rain began to pour,

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One way gave way to G.S. Megaphone.

The rain spoiled more than just One Way’s show Saturday, causing the activities scheduled from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to be cancelled.

All events were free to the public, a way Danny Reed, one of the organizers of the event, said the local churches could make the festival an outreach to the community, to try to reach people and let them know about Jesus Christ.

But many locals braved the rain to listen to G.S. Megaphone, who also played Friday night for an estimated 600 people.

And while the crowd Saturday night was not as large as Reed hoped &045; 1,000 or so &045; it was an enthusiastic bunch.

Not everyone in the crowd loved the band but were supportive of having a Christian band come to the area.

The interest level ranged from supportive closer to the back to liking the band in the middle of the crowd to big fans on the front row.

Closer to the back, Jennifer Chapman of Ferriday, La. watched the band perform.

While it was &uot;not her style,&uot; Chapman knows it was an effort to get the band here.

&uot;When we get a Christian band here, we Christians should support it,&uot; Chapman said.

But next to her, Joseph Thornton of Vidalia liked it. &uot;This is the kind of music I listen to,&uot; Thornton said.

He said he had never heard music of the gospel &uot;delivered in this style.&uot;

Near the middle, Vidalia resident Sarah Dewitt listened to the head-banging rock band play.

She listens to Christian music frequently but had never listened to G.S. Megaphone before, though she had heard of the band.

&uot;I like it, but I don’t listen to music like this,&uot; Dewitt said.

&uot;I figure if they were going to play in the rain, we should listen to them.&uot;

But on the front row were the hard-core fans.

&uot;I think they’re awesome,&uot; Josh McElroy, a 17-year-old from Natchez said.

&uot;They are one of the best Christian bands I’ve heard.&uot;

Of course, McElroy also owns the band’s

recent CD, Beautiful World. And he was not leaving for the rain.

&uot;This is the first time anything like this has ever come,&uot; McElroy said. &uot;I’m not giving this up.&uot;