The first summer gospel concert of 2022 at Ava United Methodist Church is right around the corner. Rev. Tom Matus, Concert Promoter Darla Wheeler and the congregation at Ava UMC cordially invite the community to join them for four evenings of music and fellowship this summer and fall.
All four concerts will start at 7 p.m.
Kicking off the concert season are Jim & Melissa Brady on Thursday, June 16. Then on Friday, July 15, Ava UMC welcomes The Whisnants. Soloist Joseph Habedank will appear in concert on Saturday, September 10. Wrapping up the 2022 concert series will be Tribute Quartet on Thursday, October13.
“The message in gospel music is one of hope and encouragement,” Wheeler said. “The music is intended to lift your spirits. I have been told time after time that folks know if it is a concert at Ava, they will not be disappointed and will go from the concert with joy in their heart. We are grateful for the local folks who love and attend our concerts. Each concert also has gospel music fans that travel from Lancaster, Stow, and the Columbus area as well as from Cambridge, Zanesville and the Parkersburg area.”
Wheeler said that it seems as if concerts have forever been popular at the church. From back in the days of Sunday afternoon homecomings there have always been guest singers invited to the church. In 1998 the church began having evening concerts.
“We have branched out from having talented locals, to regional groups and to nationally-known and award-winning groups beginning in 2010,” she said. “From the Dove Brothers, Downeast Quartet, Karen Peck & New River, Squire Parsons, Greater Vision, Christian Comedians Tim Lovelace & Aaron Wilburn, The Ball Brothers and too many others to mention. Most have appeared on Gaither Homecoming videos, Daystar & TBN; many have received countless awards, even Dove Awards and have been nominated for Grammy Awards. One thing is for sure, each of the artists comment on how much they love our little church; each group always wants to make a return appearance. To top the evening off, our artista are always fed a home cooked meal which they love!”
During the time of social distancing the church was very blessed when Senecaville UMC allowed Ava UMC to have open air concerts at their pavilion by Old Concord Church. “We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to them for their generosity,” Wheeler said. “Without the availability of the pavilion we would have had to cancel more of our schedules concerts.”
At each concert an offering is received with all the proceeds going to the artists. Concert attendees are asked to be generous with their gifts. As fuel prices have skyrocketed, this will be especially true this year. The church is air conditioned and is handicap accessible. The parking has also been enlarged. Traveling I-77 take exit 28, turn right, travel 4 miles north. The church is located on the right on St. Rt. 821 in Ava. Ava UMC has a Facebook page you may access at Unitedmethodistchurchava, or contact Pastor Tom Matus at 740-509-2602 or Darla Wheeler at 740-732-5281. Always check to confirm concert elates before traveling long distances.