The fifth annual Valley Praise Fest will be held Saturday, Aug. 23, at Faith Fellowship in Reader, highlighted by a performance by The Carriers. The festival will be held rain or shine-outdoors if good weather or in the church if necessary.
A southern Gospel group, The Carriers began singing in the late 1960s, then toured professionally in the 1970s and early 1980s. The following decade or so they sang more regionally. Then in 2011 they got together for a reunion sing at Valley Praise Fest. "We've continued to sing since then," says members David Kelly, also pastor of Faith Fellowship.
The Carriers consist of Kelly, his wife Jan Kelly, his brother Michael Kelly (known to many as the Paden City Chief of Police), and Denver Adams, of St. Marys.
The Carriers will headline Valley Praise Fest Saturday in Reader.
Their music is similar to that heard on the Gaither Gospel Series, from groups like the Gold City Quartet, Greater Vision, The Ball Brothers, and The Crabb Family.
"We do a lot of the songs people know from growing up-a lot of the old church songs with a little more upbeat, maybe a more modern song," said David Kelly. They also perform some songs they have written themselves.
The pastor said Faith Fellowship is excited for this fifth installment of the free festival. "It's just something we like to do to give back to the community," he said." We're looking forward to it."
The music starts at 1 p.m. and continues through 9 p.m. "You have to have an ending time, but that doesn't mean that's when it is," shared David Kelly.
"We have some great local and regional talent," he said, noting there will be music to please everyone: praise and worship, southern gospel, Christian contemporary, and more. "Everybody we have coming is either local or regional," noted David Kelly.
The event will kick off with Mitch Minney at 1 p.m, followed by Pathway, of Parkersburg, at 2:15 p.m. Amy Witschey will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. Joyful Noise will bring their music at 4:45 p.m., then 2 Be Determined at 6 p.m. The final act before The Carriers will be the Smith Family at 6 p.m.
There will be kids activities and food by donation. The pastor encourages everyone to bring a lawn chair and spend the day.
Faith Fellowship is located in Reader at the bottom of Eight Mile Ridge, for questions or directions call 304-266-4630.