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Mingo First United church is persevering

MINGO JUNCTION — A local church has lived by the word it preaches and has persevered through the blessings of those around them.

Months ago, Mingo First United Presbyterian Church, located at 650 McLister Ave., was hit with flooding — “including slimy orange mine subsidence water — which effectively closed down the kitchen and fellowship hall,” a spokesperson explained.

After missing several of their sustaining fundraisers that took place in the kitchen and lower hall, they are close to re-opening that part of the church thanks in equal parts to gifts, donations, special offerings and the hard work of parishioners and United Way volunteers in addition to assistance from another church, Harmony United Methodist, also in Mingo.

“We’re close to reopening,” said Pastor Kenn Sickle. “The asbestos removal cost us $14,000 and so a lot of the work after the removal was by members and friends. There are still things to do, and we have acquired some debt.”

Because of the continuing debt, Elder Mike Styer approached Sickle about putting together a free concert, first as a thanks to the community for the help but also including a free-will offering that will ease the financial burden.

That concert will be Wednesday at the church, beginning at 7 p.m.

Styer, himself a musician, has put together a list of some well-known local performers who will provide a fairly eclectic blend of spiritual, gospel, pop and folk music with a spiritual feel.

Well-known veteran rocker-turned-gospel artist Ed Moore and his wife, Christy, and local praise band Anaphero will join in performing with Styer, who will lead off the night with new local guitar sensation Charlie Kovach.

The Moores — both ordained ministers — have traveled across the country sharing their gospel stylings for over 25 years which also includes some prison ministry.

Anaphero — which means “to continuously bring praise” -have been together for almost 20 years, playing in churches from Youngstown to Pittsburgh with a gospel message with “a little musical edge” as founder Dave Baker explained.

Styer has performed in numerous area bands, including Freshwater, Desperados, Fast Lane and Broken Arrow and had five CDs to his credit. Kovach is a member of the contemporary Moonwalkers. His musical style is influenced by a cornucopia of guitar artists from Eric Clapton to Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Admission for the show is free; however, there will be a free will offering.

“Our kitchen is just that close to opening, and we expect to be producing nut rolls for the holiday season like before the flood,” added Sickle.

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