Joshua Morrison/News

Joshua Morrison/Mount Vernon News


MOUNT VERNON — After 13 years as a rural Christian music festival, Praisestock is moving to Mount Vernon in a collaborative effort that includes eight local churches.

Sunday, Aug. 19, Ariel-Foundation Park’s Schnormeier Event Center will be transformed into a place of fellowship where Christians of any denomination can worship and praise their Lord and Savior together, for the benefit of the community.

A Praisestock Leadership Team reflecting the congregations of eight sponsoring churches has been steadfast in organizing the music festival as it embraces a new location and a wider audience.

“After a lot of prayer and consideration, the original Owl Creek Church Praisestock team decided to return to our original roots, that of a Christian community event,” said David Ewart, chair of the Praisestock Leadership Team. “As part of that, it was felt that the move to Ariel Foundation Park Schnormeier Event Center would allow for more space and visibility. Over the winter and spring we were able to find people in several great churches who shared the vision of a community Christian music festival, and to partner with Food For The Hungry. This has been a fast moving effort that could not have happened without the strong support, hard work and passion of these great partners.”

The morning will start with a community worship service at 10 a.m. The message will be given by Capt. Christine Moretz of The Salvation Army and a praise band representing several churches will help lift voices through song. Four of the eight sponsoring churches have agreed to participate in the service. The Love Offering will benefit Food For The Hungry.

The afternoon’s music festival begins at noon and features some of the best in local praise bands as well as professional Christian musicians, all of which have a close connections throughout the history of Praisestock.

Bands are:

•Jim Hawkins and The Holy Ghost Riders will praise God through music and fellowship. The band includes Hawkins on vocals, guitar, fiddle, dobro and mandolin; Mary Steirs Miller, vocals and guitar; Jaidyn Hawkins, vocals; Jeff Collins, guitar, mandolin and vocals; John Stutler, bass guitar; and April Hawkins, vocals.

•Chestnut Ridge is a well-known bluegrass gospel group that has performed in most Knox County communities and throughout the region and consists of Jeanell Branstool, vocals; Jim Dunfee, guitar and vocals; Mickey Holback, banjo and vocals; Rex Hackley, dobro; Duane Hardesty, bass; and Peter Streiber, fiddle.

•WARship is the 2018 Outreach of the Year award winner by The Ohio Christian Music Association.

“Take faith, hope and love in Jesus, add a little rock and roll, mix in some rap, some power praise, some blues, some spoken word, some double kick pedal and top it all off with passionate worship,” that’s how WARship describes its concert experience.

•The 2017 Pillar Award and 2016 New Horizon Award winner Slaw Dog will bring its blend of Christian rock to the event center which includes original and cover songs. The Lancaster-based band is influenced by the classic rock music of the ’70s and ’80s and recently performed at the Ohio State Fair.

The family-friendly day will include a Children’s Ministry offering different art projects throughout the day as well as a bounce house. A prayer tent will be open and staffed by church volunteers.

Part of the greater mission of Praisestock is to bring the community together for the benefit of the community. In keeping with that mission, collections will be taken for Food For The Hungry which is an annual drive to collect food and money to benefit Interchurch Social Services, The Salvation Army and other food pantries through grants as they strive to help families in crisis.

“Food For The Hungry is humbled by the efforts of the Praisetock Leadership Team to not only raise funds for the 2018 campaign, but also to raise awareness of our mission and the agencies and pantries that benefit from Knox County’s generosity,” said FFTH President Samantha Scoles.

Sponsoring churches include Apostolic Christian Church, Covenant Church, Grace Community Church, First Presbyterian Church, New Life Church of the Nazarene, Owl Creek Church, The Salvation Army and Vineyard Church of Knox County.

Some seating will be available, however, guests are encouraged to bring their own chairs. Food trucks will also be onsite throughout the event.

For more information, visit or search Praisestock on Facebook.



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