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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Local churches team together for gospel concert

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Christian musician Gordon Mote will headline a gospel concert Sunday at the Brazil Nazarene Church.
Several churches in Brazil and surrounding areas have teamed up, in hopes to provide local residents with an "extraordinary" gospel music show.

On Sunday, March 21, the Brazil Nazarene Church, 1002 E. National Ave., will host a gospel show featuring Gordon Mote, a renowned, nationally known, blind gospel singer and pianist. His sound is said to be "a mixture of country and southern gospel."

The show was organized by Jeff Bridgewater, the pastor at the Bee Ridge Congregational Church.

The event is being sponsored by Sandy's Good Books and More and French Funeral Home, Brazil.

Finances were also donated by eight area churches, which include Bee Ridge, Brazil Nazarene, Otter Creek Christian Church, Big Walnut, Croy's Creek Christian Church, Eastside Christian Church and Harmony United Methodist Church.

Bridgewater said the combined efforts of all churches was imperative to bring major acts to the city.

This is the fourth concert Bridgewater has organized. Past performers have included family singing group The Lesters, and Blue Grass ensemble New Found Road, who have played Brazil twice.

However, Bridgewater believes this year's show will be the biggest he's ever organized.

In addition to his prominent standing in the gospel scene, Mote's piano skills are also widely sought after by some of country musics biggest stars.

Artists he's recorded with include Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Martina McBride.

Bridgewater said past shows have drawn between 300-350 people, but he believed this show has the potential to attract as many as 500 patrons.

"I am really looking forward to a big night," Bridgewater said.

Bridgewater got in contact with Mote through his brother, Ron, a pastor at the East Columbus Christian Church in Columbus, Ind.

In addition to his work as a pastor, Ron is also a christian musician, having recently released an album entitled "The River," with Lift Records. Ron will serve as Mote's opening act.

Bridgewater has released albums independently in the past, but said recording a release on a major label was a big step up in production quality.

"It was like working on a whole other level," Bridgewater said. "It was like going from the minors to the major leagues."

Mote and Bridgewater met during the recording of "The River" on which Mote played piano.

Bridgewater said his musical career has helped to enhance the way he interacts with his congregation.

"(Music) has really been a great aid for me," Bridgewater said. "It has opened the door for me to preach in a different way."

Jeff Bridgewater expressed gratitude to all churches and sponsors who have helped finance the show.

He encouraged as many families as possible to come out and see what he called "a family friendly, great, well-rounded show."

As for his brother, a Northview graduate who spent his entire youth in Brazil, he expressed a great deal of joy and appreciation in getting to bring his music and message back home to the residents of the city where he grew up, and assured all potential attendees they would be in for a terrific show.

"I'm really looking forward to coming home and playing," Ron said. "People are in for a real treat. I don't think anyone will be disappointed."

The free concert begins at 6 p.m. Goodwill donations will be taken.

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