Sunday, March 3, 2024

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UNITYFEST: Coming together with a purpose

After a soggy week and more rain in the forecast for the weekend, the weather miraculously cleared up just in time for UnityFest, the Christian/gospel music festival in Cameron.

The two-day event took place June 23-24 on the football field of Union Pines High School. Folks came from all over and began lining up before entry was allowed.

The gates opened an hour before the event began, with concertgoers carrying lawn chairs and blankets to claim their spots. Although it was extremely hot, that didn’t stop thousands from attending.

This is the second year for the event which included several well-known Christian and Gospel artists, numerous speakers, as well as a youth rally with challenge giveaways.

Several food trucks and vendors were set up at the event to satisfy the hungry as well as offering something cold to drink to take the edge off of the heat.

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There were around 100 volunteers. Prayer tents were set up as well as numerous other tents for attendees’ needs. There was something for everyone.

Click here to read the story of how UnityFest began.

The artists included Jason Crabb, his daughter Ashleigh Taylor Crabb, Charity Gayle, 2nd Chance Ministries, Hayleigh Smith, Heart 2 Heart, Sidewalk Prophets and Tauren Wells. This was Ashleigh Crabb’s debut concert.

Speakers David Pratt, Joe Keen, Craig Church and his daughter, Leah Church.

During the event, a video was played featuring the late 14-yr old Madilee Mitchem.

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Mitchem, who was diagnosed with a very progressive type of brain cancer in 2020, was scheduled to speak but passed away shortly before the event.

Mitchem loved the Lord and said in her video: “The most important thing to me is my religion. I pray that I at least touch someone and that my light shines as my story continues to be shared. If one person came to know the Lord through me, it will all be worth it.”

A unique waterfall baptismal caught the eye of all who attended. The amazing 16-foot steel-framed waterfall was a vision given to Tom Glenn around the first of the year, and through literal blood, sweat and tears, the vision became a reality.

Helpers on the project included his wife, Gale, his son-in-law and a select few others.

“God gave me the vision on making the waterfall baptismal,” Glenn said. “He showed me what it would look like completed and in place working. It took from February of this year until the very hour of the start of the event on June 23 to complete.”

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Glenn said he had faith that the plan would work, even though there was no time to test it.

“Many received salvation at the event, then were baptized,” Glenn continued. “The biggest blessing I received was watching the faces and smiles as they came up from the water. It was awesome and an honor to serve the Lord in that capacity.”

Cheraw-based 2nd Chance Ministries performs at UnityFest in Cameron. Contributed photo

2nd Chance Ministries booking agent Randy Stubbs said, “We had a great time and can’t wait for next year.”

That group, based in Cheraw, had performed the previous evening as the first gospel act in Hamlet’s Boxcar Concert Series.

Click here to see photos from that performance.

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Youth Challenge winners were announced and awarded giveaways which included a year of Chick-fil-A, artists’ T-shirts, and photos with their artist of choice. The winners were Ruby Willett, Alyssa Collier, Kimber Pickler, Nevaeh Greenman and Angie Amorose.

The focus of the event and the prayers of many is that people will unite together in serving the Lord and put an end to division.

See more photos below.

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