#039;Hope for You Festival#039; begins

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2003

All in attendance agreed that Scott Dawson's Hope for You Festival is a wonderful way to spend time with the family and listen to inspirational talks and music.

Energizing music sung by the choir and audience helped set the stage for Dawson and special musical guest Larnelle Harris.

The Grammy-award winning singer had something for everybody.

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Seven-year-old Christie Kelly said his singing was her favorite part of the program.

"I liked what he sang," she said.

"He was really fun."

Harris, the choir and the festival's worship and program director Duane Moore kept the audience entertained and focused and quickly became the center of the audience's attention.

"My favorite part has been the singing," said Angie Jones.

Jones said she had never heard of Harris or Dawson before, but she was impressed with them.

"This is just a good function to have," she said. "It helps people get to know Jesus and people really need to get God into their lives."

If success can be measured in numbers, then so far the festival and Pathfinders is off to a good start.

Dawson reported that at the Pathfinders rally Wednesday night 15 people committed themselves to Christ.

At the ladies' luncheon Thursday, 84 commitments were made and as the Pathfinders hit the pavement Thursday afternoon, 91 people prayed to receive Christ.

Billy Smith, who is in charge of the ushers at the festival, said this is the fourth time he's heard Dawson speak. Smith said every time he's heard Dawson he has enjoyed him.

"He's being used by the Lord," Smith cited as a reason for Dawson's success. "And he brings a message most everybody can understand and what people need to hear.

It's simple and plain."

Smith's son, Todd, was there helping his dad.

Like most people, Todd liked the music.

"The music's been really great," he said. "Everyone seems to be having a good time."

Jones said the festival seems to be off to a good start and would encourage families to attend every night.

"If you're not too busy, come by and join us," she said.

Tonight, Charles Billingsley will perform with the Troy combined choir.

Admission is free and the doors open at 6 p.m.