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Church turning to bluegrass to spread Gospel

The Richville United Methodist Church will host its fifth annual Gospel Bluegrass Festival on Saturday, June 25 from 1-4 p.m.

Held inside the church, this rain or shine event will combine music, food and fellowship. Brought back by popular demand are two groups: Bruce and Elaine Nelson and the Kingery Family.

The Nelsons spend summers in Erhard, Minn. and winters in Texas. They are inductees in the America's Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame and have opened for, and performed with, Ray Price, Porter Wagoner, Martina McBride, Sammy Kershaw, Willy Nelson, Margo Smith and Allen Jackson. Elaine Nelson, a native Texan, even sang for former President Lyndon Johnson.

Music has always played an important role in the Kingery Family's lives. Singing in the car passed the time as they traveled during Mike Kingery's 17 years of professional baseball. Mike traded in his bat to minister to the elderly, the family entertaining in nursing homes.

Now, Mike, Chris and their eight children and new son-in-law sing and play piano, flute, cello, viola and violin. The family's motto is "Music with a Vision."

While the Nelsons and the Kingery Family are the main events at the festival, other groups will entertain in between. In addition, barbeque, chips, cookies and root beer floats will be available. Admission is a free will offering.