Dunnville hosts first annual 'SONfest' July 24


Kendall and Glenda Caudill had a hard time finding events that would appeal to teenagers from their church. Their search turned up only a few options for young Christians.

"We come from a small town and a small church in Dunnville, in Casey County, called Mount Calvary Community Church," said Kendall Caudill, youth director for the church. "About a year ago, our church began a youth program. After starting this program, we wanted to take our youth to large Christian events that appealed to them.

"There are gospel singings and other similar events all around but they often do not attract teenagers. Unfortunately, we soon discovered that what we were looking for did not exist in this area. The only big ones are in the Lexington area and are quite expensive. So, then we asked ourselves, 'Why couldn't we organize something big for the youth and keep it free for this area?' We were given names to some music groups from some friends and it went from there."


Glenda Caudill is youth leader and treasurer for the church.

The brainstorming has led to "SONfest 2004," a contemporary Christian music festival that will be held July 24 in Dunnville. SONfest will be an all-day, free, non-denominational event, with concessions and food sold by a local vendor.

Four music groups will perform

There will be four music groups performing live, Caudill said.

"One is Big Minista' - he does gospel rap and is from Lexington," he noted. "Change 58 is from Russell Springs and Nine Ball is from Monticello. Both of these groups are Christian rock. Also, Dunnville Christian Church Praise and Worship Band will also be performing; they are from Dunnville. They are all very talented.

"When we choose the groups that will be performing we had one question. 'Could they get and hold the attention of the our youth?' After the responses we have received, we believe they can."

Keeping the youth interested in Christian-base activities is a primary goal for the Caudills.

"Often times, our teenagers are not appealed by the Christian life because they think of it as boring and that there is nothing to do once you choose to take the Christian walk," Caudill explained. "They are often afraid of the criticism that they will encounter if they choose this life. They feel like they will be alone if they don't do what the rest of the world is doing.

"We know this is not the way it is and we want to help them see that. We feel the need to reach out to the teens of this area and we are going to try and do just that. Often times people refer to our children as the future of the country. This is true; however, they are also the future of the church."

One goal is to change one person's life

Seeing change and providing a positive activity are other goals of the festival, Caudill added.

"We have a few goals we hope to accomplish with SONfest," he noted. "One, quite simply, is that through the grace of God, to see at least one person's life changed. Another, is to make sure that no matter (what) a person's financial status, they can attend this event free of charge. Another goal, is to at least provide positive entertainment for our youth for at least one day.

"This is where SONfest comes in. It will show teenagers that if they choose to change their lives that they will not be alone. It will show them that they can come together in a big way and can have a lot of fun in a big way without the involvement of alcohol and drugs. If nothing else, we hope to at least plant a seed of thought and give them something to think about."

And they hope SONfest will become an annual event, if this year's festival succeeds. Many people put a lot of time into helping organize the event, Caudill noted.

"We are anticipating that this will be an annual event," he said. "I would like to thank the youth and youth leaders of our church for all their hard work. Also, without the financial support of the local businesses, we would not have been able to keep this event free, and most importantly, without God, none of this would be possible.

"We would like to remind everyone that SONfest is geared toward our youth, but everyone is welcome - young and young at heart."

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