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Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year | Arts & Culture

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Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year
Organizer of Christian music summer concert series hopes to expand next year

ROCKFORD, Mich.-- "The old adage, 'You build it - they will come' is spot-on when describing the huge success of Rockford's 2013 Praise in the Park summer concert series," said Rockford city council member Steve Jazwiec during the September Rockford City Council meeting.

Jazwiec was responding to a recap presentation by former Rockford city council member Rich Moll, who organized Praise in the Park. 

The event is staged in the beautiful confines of Garden Club Park adjacent to the Rogue River and the iconic Rogue River Dam every summer Sunday evening, from June through August. Praise in the Park, in its second season, has seen attendance grow week after week.

This year's event was comprised of 14 weeks of Christian music performed by twelve area churches from the communities of Rockford, Comstock Park, Grand Rapids and Cedar Springs. Additionally, one unaffiliated Christan band and one solo performer also headlined an evening's performance. The music performed was a blended mix of contemporary and traditional Christian songs.

Moll believes Rockford's Praise in the Park is the only summer-long event of its kind anywhere in the country.

"My phone has been ringing off the hook all summer long with callers from churches all over West Michigan, seeking to show their praise team's musical talents and the message they bring to ever-growing numbers of peoples," added Moll.

Not only do these praise teams have their own following from their respective churches, they are adding new believers to the genre of contemporary Christian music who by happenstance find themselves, in using the adjacent White Pine Trail, spellbound by the concert they have stumbled upon. 

Rockford, and for that matter West Michigan, is a community of churches. Participating churches are afforded the opportunity to showcase a portion of what they have to offer every Sunday morning throughout the year. Attendees enjoy a free, uplifting evening of music in a beautiful outdoor environment. It's a win-win for everyone.

With this year's attendance estimated to be more than 2,500, Moll is looking forward to the 2014 Praise in the Park season. He is hopeful for adding additional Sundays in May to the schedule in order to accommodate, what for the most part are, the finest praise teams in West Michigan.

If there is a business, a corporation, or an individual for that matter, who altruistically sees merit in promoting Praise in the Park, Moll would love to hear from you. Sponsorship would go a long way in realizing the full potential of what may well become a Sunday evening destination for hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Moll can be contacted by emailing rpmoll@spcglobal.net.

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