Three major Christian music names will headline Church Night at this year's centennial edition of the Union County Fair
Bill Mason and Union's McDonald's restaurant are sponsoring “The Least of These” tour on Oct. 15 with NewSong, Aaron Shust and Francesca Battistelli. Evangelist Tony Nolan will be the featured speaker.
“Church night is going to be huge this year,” said fair executive director Doug Gilliam. “Bill Mason stepped out and is doing something good for our county.”
NewSong was formed in Valdosta, Ga., in 1981 by Eddie Carswell, Billy Goodwin, Eddie Middleton and Bobby Apon who met while attending Morningside Baptist Church. The quartet's local popularity quickly grew and in 1982 they signed with Covenant Records to issue their initial album, “Son in My Eyes.” They now have 20 #1 singles and eight GMA Dove Award nominations.
Shust is a contemporary Christian music artist on the Brash Music label. He was named the songwriter of the year at the GMA Dove Awards in 2007 and his song, “My Savior My God,” was named song of the year.
Battistelli moved to Nashville at 22. According to her website, her first single, “I'm Letting Go,” from her debut album “My Paper Heart,” highlighted her desire to encourage peers not to settle for less than what God has for them and rose to #3 on Christian radio. Her debut item was “My Paper Heart.”
Nolan, also nationally known, recently served as tour pastor and communicator for Casting Crowns Lifesong tour and the largest Christian tour in America, Winter Jam. The tours covered America, visiting over 119 cities with over 87,000 people making public professions of faith in Christ. Nolan is the author of the devotional book, “Faith Fuel - A Refueling Journey” and is producer of several best selling DVD and CD resources, including “Lifelift” which is featured on the Grammy award winning Lifesong DVD.
The fair, celebrating its 100th year, will be held Oct. 14-18.
Members of participating churches who have an arm band will be admitted free to the fair. The arm bands will be distributed at the churches on Oct. 12 Gilliam said an effort is being made to contact every church in the county - either by letter or by phone - to advise pastors about the arm bands.
“Anyone who wants to can participate, all they have to do is agree to present the gospel the Sunday morning before the fair,” he said. “Bands will be given out to the people present.”
Any church who has not received information about church night is asked to have a representative call Gilliam at 426-0785.
Reithoffer's Amusements will be bringing the rides to this year's fair.
“They have promised to bring the State Fair to Union,” Gilliam said. “The fair board has bee working to make improvements to the fairgrounds. Hopefully we will have great weather and a lot of people will come.”