Gospel and bluegrass grace Grandfather for annual Singing

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LINVILLE — Spectators gathered on Grandfather Mountain on Sunday for a church service, featuring sermons, hymns and a little bit of bluegrass.

While the morning was foggy for the 92nd annual Singing on the Mountain, a large crowd continued to gather throughout the day on MacRae Meadows as acts including gospel singers and speakers graced the stage.

This year’s featured speaker and headlining artist was Andrew Greer, a Nashville native known for his soulful, folk gospel sound.

“Hymns are how I got to know God,” Greer said.

Greer and his band played a variety of hymns and music, and Greer had a message for the audience as well — sharing his own personal experiences and relating them to the gospel.

“It is always safe to take the risk of telling our stories because by telling that story, we offer a communion,” Greer said.
Greer expressed that it was more important for him to share his stories than his songs, but the story he was telling was ultimately that of love.
“In the pattern of Jesus and his life, is love,” Greer said.

Other musical acts included Amantha Mill, the Cockman Family, the Parsons Family, Michael Combs, Patricia Smith, The Primitive Quartet, The Ricky Webb Family and the Smokey Mountain Reunion with Archie Watkins and Troy Burns.

Grandfather Mountain spokesman Frank Ruggiero said that despite the fog, the event had a good turnout.

“It was well attended, and people enjoyed it,” Ruggiero said. “We’re looking forward to next year.”
This was the 92nd year of Singing on the Mountain, the oldest ongoing old-time gospel convention left in the Southern Appalachians.
Founded in 1924 by Joe Hartley, Sr. as a Sunday school picnic and dinner on the grounds, the Grandfather Singing is always held on the fourth Sunday in June. The history of the “Singing” is the history of country gospel music, and even today the spontaneous happening continues almost unchanged. Admission is free with the motto remaining the same: “Whosoever will may come.”

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