LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - John Gee lives for rapping Christian messages in his hometown.
The 32 year old has been making music for 15 years, and for the past three years, Gee has won a band contest to perform at the 12th annual Praise in the Park.
"I believe that God has blessed me with a certain kind of talent and ability that he wants me to use," Gee said. "I just want to be able to be obedient in that, and be able to use my abilities to serve him and that's through music."
Thousands lined up outside Lucedale City Park on Saturday. Jessie Howell was among the first.
"We come to Praise in the Park because we praise the Lord," Howell said. "And we live for the Lord and that's our life. That's what we do, and we're nothing without the Lord."
Bobbie Fortenberry of Hattiesburg is considered a super fan. She's usually the first to buy her ticket.
"I just love this atmosphere," Fortenberry said. "I love being around the Christians, and it's just nice to be out in the open space and be able to worship, you know, lift your hands up."
Jan Windham went from concert goer to concert volunteer.
"It's the best atmosphere. Christian. Everybody's loving, it's just the best day ever. The sun's beaming down on your face. The spirit of the Lord is everywhere," said Windham.
The event is put together by a group of volunteers led by Jay Davis.
"It's a blessing to see 'em waiting in line and just looking over the fence to see what's going on, and chomping at the bit to get in the gates."
For many, the concert represents a deep satisfaction.
"It's awesome," said Robert Schmierer. "I love to worship. And these guys put it on really good."
Glorietta Knott added, "It makes me feel like part of heaven. This what heaven's going to be like. We'll all be singing praises all the time."
It's the same for Anna Elmore.
"Oh, just the presence of God here is just overwhelming," Elmore said. "And every time I come here, it's like I'm reborn again in his spirit."