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Habitat Gospel singing this Saturday

What Fred Johnson wants most is friends.

Money would be nice but friends would be much better.

So, he’s hosting a “friend raiser” for Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity in the form of the local Habitat’s Second Annual Gospel Sing, from 1 p.m. until on Saturday, Feb. 27 at Hephzibah Baptist Church in Troy.

“A friend raiser is what it’s going to be,” said Johnson, AmeriCorps VISTA with Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity. “The Gospel Sing is a way to express our appreciation to all of those who have given of their time, talent and dollars to Habitat and also to heighten awareness of Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity.

“Last year, we had four churches who supported Troy-Pike Habitat for Humanity on a regular basis. After the Gospel Sing, we now have 15. The Gospel Sing is also a way to encourage volunteers for our organization.”

Johnson said the “bucket” will be passed so those who wish to donate to Habitat may do so but fundraising is not the focus of this event.

The Gospel Sing will feature many of the same groups as last year as well as a large number of new participants.

“We had a really great time last year so it was not hard to get singers to participate again this year,” Johnson said. “We’ve got some of the best gospel singers anywhere around and they should attract a crowd. We hope to pack the sanctuary of Hephzibah Baptist Church.”

Dillon Ford will kick of the singing at 1 p.m. He will be followed by the Mt. Hilliard Missionary Baptist Church choir and, after that, it’s whoever is there and ready at the time.

“We’ll let the singers take the stage for about three or four songs and, if they would like to, they can come back later,” Johnson said. “We want to give everybody an opportunity to sing.

“We’ll keep signing until they run us off or until all for the singers have to leave.”

The singers who are scheduled to perform include the Hephzibah Youth Group, New Hope Mass Choir, County Line Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church No. 2, Wesley Foundation Praise Band, Lenny Trawick, Billy Chamblee, Keon Smith and Henry Everett.”

“Allen Bowden, who has performed on television, will be one of the singers and we’re looking forward to having him,” Johnson said.

“The quartet Homeward Bound will also be here and Troy University football star Bear Woods will come out in support of Habitat.”

There is no admission to the Gospel Sing so everyone is invited to come sing along and learn more about Habitat for Humanity and how to be a part of a helping hand organization.

“Habitat for Humanity homes are paid for in dollars and sweat equity by the Habitat families,” Johnson said.

“And every owner here in Pike County has helped to build Habitat Homes other than their own.

“They really appreciate the opportunity to have a home and they are willing to give back in return.”