The hundreds of people who came to enjoy singing groups from different churches also reached into their wallets to help those in Carthage who are struggling to get by.
The Maple Leaf Gospel Sing featured 10 local singing groups and individual singers, including a special performance by an ensemble of pastors from nine different Carthage Churches.
They gathered to entertain and to raise money so the Carthage Ministerial Alliance can help people who are struggling to get back on their feet.
“This is a community that takes care of its own, and more,” said Carthage Crisis Center Director Brian Bisbee to the audience during his offertory remarks. “The Ministerial Alliance is going to take up an offering tonight and that offering is going to go to take care of a special group of people. There are people who are looking for work, and they need gas money and we furnish that through our gas voucher program.”
Bisbee told the crowd that the money they gave on Wednesday would help between 10 and 15 of their neighbors every month throughout the year.
“This is the fundraiser right here that helps to support that program and it's the only fundraiser we do during the year,” Bisbee said. “So we have appreciated so much the generosity of people and there's a great concert that goes along with it.”
The Gospel Sing featured groups and singers from the First Baptist Church, Grand Avenue Church of God, Carthage Church of the Nazarene, Faith Life Worship Center, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Grace Episcopal Church, St. Ann's Catholic Church, World Covenant Outreach Church, Fairview Christian Church, Grace Pointe Assembly Church. Faith Life Worship Center and others.
At the midpoint, after Bisbee's offertory, the pastors of nine churches got together and sang the hymn “There is a Fountain Filled With Blood.”
The Maple Leaf Gospel Sing has been a staple of the Maple Leaf Festival for years.