Bands to battle for mission trip

Published 3:38 pm Monday, April 13, 2015

Franklin Baptist Church is set to rock out with guitars, drums and keyboards on Saturday afternoon to help support a children’s education mission in Eastern Europe, said church member and event organizer Jeff Zeigler.

Three area praise bands will be competing in front of judges and a crowd on April 18 at 2 p.m. in Franklin Baptist Church, 208 North High St. Tickets are $7 in advance and $10 at the door.

“We hope attendees will be blessed by the music and worship and just have a general good time,” Zeigler said. “In my 15 years of playing in Christian bands, I have found that every one of them has a different style, a different philosophy and a different ministry.

“You may hear a song that you are familiar with played in a different style, and say, ‘I hadn’t thought of that before.’”

The Battle of the Bands will be between Hillcrest Baptist of Suffolk, Courtland Baptist and the Bethel Assembly of God, Suffolk. Franklin Baptist’s praise band will also play at the event. Each group will get up to 45 minutes to perform and also talk about their church, worship style and ministry.

The bands, which lead a service at their respective churches each week, play contemporary Christian music.

The event is being modeled after alternative clubs that are getting started in the area.

“A concept called Christian coffeehouses are starting to pop up in Hampton Roads,” Zeigler said. “These are clubs that are open on Friday nights that host Christian bands. It’s a great alternative to your typical nightclub.”

The mission trip has two stops in Eastern Europe. First, the team will be working to help Roma children in Slovakia. The Romas, also known as Gypsies, do not always get the opportunity for education, substantial housing and jobs. The missionaries will be helping the children learn English in hopes that it will help them assimilate and provide job opportunities later.

In Poland, the team will be providing Bible study and social activities for children of missionaries. The parents are all Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Field Personnel from all over Europe who will be gathered for an annual conference for training and resource sharing.

Tickets can be purchased from any of the bands, Franklin Baptist and at Franklin Automotive, or at the door the day of. Drinks and refreshments will also be sold.

“People who like Christian music will enjoy this event and be able to listen to other bands that they don’t typically get to hear,” Zeigler said. “Also, people will get to meet people from other churches.”