The dark clouds were rolling in. Not a drop of rain had fallen since folks began gathering at Beacon Park for the last night of the three day Gospel Sing, even so, most everyone was calm, if not a bit jittery about the prospects of getting rained on at an outdoor sing. We sat and watched the clouds all around us and wondered if they would ever release the liquid that weighed them down so close to the earth. With Glen Kaulkner, Karen Peck and New River and The Perrys on the program, it would take more than just a few drops to deter those eager folks anyway!
“Those of you with umbrellas,” Duane rebuked, “Ye of little faith!” LOL The concert was getting ready to start and you could feel small splashes soaking into your clothing every few seconds. Some umbrellas went up immediately and some sat it out in for a while.
I so did not want to be in the “ye of little faith” category! So I sat there as long as I could until the wetness intensified. Though I did not have my computer out in the rain, I didn’t trust the soft case with all the water and popped up my umbrella to protect that and my i-phone.
Needless to say, getting notes for a proper review was not likely. All of Glen Faulkner’s set and all of KPNR’s it poured!!! At first, folks tried to sit through it (including myself) but then someone would get up, tip their chair upside down and seek refuge either in their car or under the patio by the concession stand. Soon I joined them.
Karen Peck and New River were very gracious on stage. I couldn’t imagine how helpless you would feel as a singer when people begin leaving in droves and you can’t do anything to fix it. Yet, they kept singing… Though I can’t remember every detail that transpired on stage I can tell you that they began with their popular Ephesians 1 and went into I Wanna’ Know How It Feels, Sustaining Grace, Finish Well, Robe and Crown and Four Days Late. They most likely sang more than that, but the songs have slipped from my memory.
By the time The Perry’s came on stage, the rain stopped and folks were returning to their abandoned chairs. I flipped mine up and watched the water drop off the mesh fabric…guess it was a good thing that it would be dark when the concert ended, ‘cause my pants were going to be wet for sure!
“The name Perry is synonymous with great singing all the way from the 1970s,” announced Duane, “I want you to make welcome the Perrys from Nashville, Tennessee!” Libbi’s mic wasn’t turned on during the first verse so they stopped the track and Brian exclaimed, “Let’s try that again, ladies and gentleman the Perrys!” LOL Still Blessed opened their set and went right into It Was the Blood and How Long, How Long. Andrew began When He Spoke To Me and both Bryan and Libbi sang a verse of it after the chorus. Brian told how they were thankful to be back and asked if we enjoyed KPNR. After speaking of Tracy’s stroke and explaining that Tracy was staying on the bus because of the weather instead of making an appearance on stage, Bryan asked, “How ‘bout we kick loose and do a few Happy Goodman tunes?” The crowd was good with that and so Living In Canaan and Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now followed. “Y’all like those old songs don’t you?” Bryan asked, “Old people like old songs!” Everyone giggled and Arvin poked his head out from back stage and hollered, “Amen!” Introductions were after that and Libbi took a moment to encourage the crowd, “I wake up to a miracle every day. Give God a chance – don’t give the Devil room for nothing,’ he don’t deserve nothing, he is a liar and he ain’t gonna’ do you any good!” Then she sang their ballad I Can Trust Him and If You Knew Him closed out their set with a standing ovation.
“We’ll, our host group is going to sing a few before we go to intermission,” Duane announced, “after intermission the Perrys and KPNR will come out and sing again, but right now welcome back the Lighthouse Messengers!” There’s No Other Name Like Jesus and I’m Claiming The Victory kicked off their short set. “The clouds have been rolled away and the rain has stopped,” Arvin said. Then they sang Heaven (not the Gold City song!) “I learned a new sales pitch,” Arvin teased, “If you run a hog through here on Friday night they’ll line up for sausage on Saturday morning!” LOL LaVerne sang a solo called No One Can Wear My Robe But Me and then they closed with I’ll Soon Be Gone.
Conclusion: My first year at Beacon Park was amazing! The whole weekend was filled with top notch artists, great crowds and overall a loving atmosphere. I was a little worried when it began raining, but honestly, the little storm blew over quickly and we enjoyed the rest of the night as if nothing went wrong! If you live near Harrison, Arkansas or within a reasonable driving distance, I highly recommend this three day event as a weekend getaway. It’s a beautiful place to park your camper! It is a FREE sing, there’s no charge for admission and you can’t beat the great Christian atmosphere. Also, this is the only outdoor sing I know of that has fully plumbed bathrooms! (Y’all, that’s HUGE!!!!)