HARTFORD — It may be a half year away, but plans are already in the works for the 26th Annual Bend Area Gospel Jubilee.
Under the promotion of New Haven resident Evelyn Roush, the week-long event is scheduled for May 30 through June 4, 2016 at the Jackson County Fairgrounds in Cottageville.
But while the actual event seems far away, fundraising to make the jubilee happen is ongoing all year round, according to Roush. The next fundraiser will occur on Saturday, and will feature an auction, as well as a gospel sing, dinner, and bake sale.
All activities, with the exception of the sing, will begin at noon at the Hartford Community Center. Oscar Click will serve as auctioneer. Roush said a variety of items will be up for bid, from large entertainment centers to smaller items, such as toys, dolls, afghans, lamps, and other odds and ends.
Dinner items offered for sale will include homemade chicken and noodles, beans and cornbread, beef vegetable soup and hotdogs, as well as pies, cakes and other goodies.
At 6 p.m. the gospel sing will begin. It will feature the groups “Covered by Love,” “The Builders Quartet,” “Gospel Travelers,” the Rollins Family, and individual artist Mike Cadle.
“We work all year doing fundraisers for the gospel jubilee, which has over 50 groups,” said Roush. “There are also several churches that hold benefit gospel sings throughout the year.”
Roush said the jubilee was formed in 1990, having first met at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. The event moved to the Jackson County Fairground 12 years ago, which provided a shelter under roof, with bleachers and a concrete floor for lawn chairs. Roush added campers have come from 10 different states and Canada, with some people using the jubilee as their annual vacations.
For the past 18 years, Jackie Sizemore has donated a quilt she made to be sold at silent auction in support of the jubilee. Next year’s quilt has already been presented by Sizemore and is a wedding ring pattern, which will be on display at the jubilee in May and June.
“The jubilee is promoted by support, prayer and faith in God,” said Roush. “His plan will never fail when we come together in love.”
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing and lives in Mason County.