News Column

Saturday music festival celebrates Christian message

August 14, 2014

By Allison Griffin, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.



Aug. 14--This year's Obsessed Christian Music Festival, set for Saturday, will be at the Lake Martin Amphitheater (also known as the AMP), a venue that offers more than just pretty views.

The AMP's location allows for sounds to travel across the lake, to homes and neighborhoods all around the area. For organizer Katelyn Hamilton, that is only fitting.

"If you're from around there, you can walk outside and hear the music, so the message is being spread a lot farther than just the people who are there," she said.

Hamilton started the Obsessed festival when she was still an undergraduate at Auburn University. She was inspired by a sermon from Daniel Bridgman, who was her minister at the time.

Bridgman gave a series of sermons called "obsessed," which focused on the need for people to be obsessed with God and scripture, and not with worldly things.

"Those things will wither away. God's everlasting though, and he's obsessed with us," Hamilton said. "We need to be obsessed with him as well. That's what we want everybody to take away."

Bridgman, who is now youth minister at First Baptist Church in Theodore, said that even with the many distractions for young people today, they are still receptive to messages about God's word.

"Those things going on in society seem to drive a hunger for answers and understanding of why that happens and what's going on," Bridgman said, "at least a conversation about scripture and God, the Bible, Jesus."

The fourth Obsessed festival will feature a return of Christian rock band Rush of Fools, who are Birmingham natives. They played at the 2011 Obsessed festival and drew plenty of fans.

Both Bridgman and Hamilton are personal friends of the band members, and say that they are the same off stage as they are on stage -- young men of good character.

Two of the band's members, Wesley Willis and Jamie Sharpe, have ties to the tri-county area; another member, Kevin Huguley, is from Auburn.

The band first gained notice with their 2007 hit, "Undo," from their self-titled debut, which played on radio stations across the U.S. Before that, they were mostly a part-time praise band, writing a few songs together. "Undo" changed all that.

Their second album, 2008's "Wonder of the World," led to further acclaim. Their third album, "We Once Were" from 2011, featured the lead single "Grace Found Me." Their latest album is this year's "Carry Us Now."

Also playing at this year's festival are Kevin and Jordyn Boyer Band.

Bridgman will also speak in between the music sets. He said he will speak out of the book of Luke, chapter 9, and talk about "how large the commitment is that Christ calls us to, and about how great the benefits of following through with that are."

Brandon Fomby of Tallassee will also offer a short devotion during the festival.

As with past events, this year's concert will benefit a charitable organization. Hamilton said that all proceeds after expenses will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

The event has come far in its four-year history. A few hundred came to the 2010 event, with more at the 2011 festival to hear Rush of Fools. But it poured on the night of the 2012 event, and organizers took 2013 off to regroup.

Anybody and everybody, not just young people, is welcome to the festival, Hamilton said. "We'd love to see it packed out this year."

WANT TO GO?

WHAT: Obsessed Christian Music Festival

WHEN: Gates open at 5 p.m. Saturday, with the show from 6-10 p.m.

WHERE: Lake Martin Amphitheater (The AMP)

OTHER INFO: Bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers aren't allowed in the amphitheater itself, but concessions will be available. Event goes on, rain or shine.

TICKETS: $5 in advance and $8 at the gate; children 5 and younger are free. Log on to www.obsessedcmfestival.com for ticket locations.

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(c)2014 the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.)

Visit the Montgomery Advertiser (Montgomery, Ala.) at www.montgomeryadvertiser.com

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Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)


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