Performers Put On A Show To Benefit Destroyed Churches - - The News for South Mississippi

Performers Put On A Show To Benefit Destroyed Churches

Helping other churches build back is the goal of a special weekend concert event in Ocean Springs.

"Artists United To Rebuild Our Churches" featured dozens of performers using their talents to help churches rebuild.

In all, ten Catholic churches along the Mississippi Coast were destroyed or gutted.

Another ten were severely damaged.

All of the proceeds from the this weekend's performances will benefit the Catholic Diocese of Biloxi.

Whether with a song with an instrument or with dance the artists said the show was a chance to use their God given talents to restore God's houses to what they were before hurricane Katrina.

"Our common ground is our spiritual relationship with God and his people." said singer Kathy Mangin. "We're just having such a great time together.

Artists Unite To Rebuild Our Churches started as a small talent showcase but then took on a life of its own.

 "Before we knew it we had two nights at the Mary C. O'Keefe and we had all the church singers and musicians and dancers were all volunteering and we actually have a waiting list for our next performance because our show runs three hours and we had to turn some people away," said organizer Sandra Gaines.

The money raised from the show will help undo destruction within the Biloxi Diocese.

Organizers say the concert not only brought people from different parishes together but also touched the hearts of others within the Christian faith.

"I think its been wonderful because it helps us to remember that all of us are one church and not just the Catholic church," said Gaines. "We do have some other volunteers as well. Our flute player is actually with Good Shepherd Lutheran and our stage manager is with the Episcopal Church of the redeemer so we have other churches that are involved as well that wanted to step up and help."

Everyone who had a hand in the production from singers to technicians say they're determined to make a difference and relying on the power of prayer and faith to make it happen.

"Our church is our home away from home and that's our plan to get people back into their houses of worship," said Gaines.

Organizers believe they'll raise about three thousand dollars from the two concerts in Ocean Springs.

by Danielle Thomas

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