In a spirit of faith and unity, hundreds of worshippers ascended the peak to MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain to join in the 95th rendition of the annual “Singing on The Mountain,” a large-scale worship experience that began in 1924 as a family gathering and picnic by the Hartley family and has been blessed to expand to embody the Singing’s slogan of “Whosoever will may come.”

In the spirit of faith and community gathering, all were welcome to attend the event, which was put on for the first time in 1924.

Joe Hartley Sr., founder of the event, envisioned a worship event where any and all were welcome to praise the Lord through song under the summer sun atop one of the most beautiful mountains in North Carolina.

Many families brought picnics, pets and lawn chairs, making a day of the event.

“It’s easy to feel close to God when you worship in nature like we are today,” said Charity Hebb, who attended this year’s event. “Lord willing, my children and their children will be able to experience this event as I have.”

This year’s event hosted performers including Michael Combs, Patricia Smith, The Cockman Family, The Collective, New Covenant and Adam Beard.

The keynote speaker delivering the sermon at the event was David Chadwick. Chadwick is the senior pastor of Moments of Hope Church and has been a pastor in Charlotte since 1980. In addition, he hosts a local weekly faith and values radio program, “The David Chadwick Show,” on WBT AM/FM in Charlotte, as well as the nationally syndicated “Moments of Hope with David Chadwick,” a daily Christian teaching show.

Chadwick spoke about the power of words and the importance of setting a good example for the children in your life.

“The life you live is the message you pass on to younger generations,” Chadwick said.

Chadwick expressed his honor in being named the keynote speaker for this year’s event.

“Dr. Billy Graham used this pulpit to preach at this event 57 years ago. He spoke the gospel of Jesus Christ to thousands of people,” said Chadwick. “What an honor it is for me to be in his legacy.”

The festival has only grown in popularity since its creation and has hosted such notable performers as Johnny Cash, Roy Acuff and Bob Hope. Singing on the Mountain is recognized by the N.C. Arts Council and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area as part of the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina and is the oldest ongoing gospel convention remaining in the Appalachians.

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