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Churches join for big event
Family Fest is Sept. 13
Will Graham
Will Graham, grandson of well-known minister Billy Graham, will preach during morning and evening worship services during the Family Fest Sept. 13. - photo by Submitted
If you go

Forsyth Family Fest is set for 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Cumming Fairgrounds.

The schedule is as follows:

• 10:30 a.m. worship with Will Graham

• 1 to 5 p.m. inflatables, Chaos on Wheels (BMX team), face painting, basketball shoot, local bands

• 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. worship with Toby Mac, Will Graham and Canton Jones

• Online:
Two weeks from today, nearly 30 area churches will join together for a free event one organizer called "simply unprecedented."

"Times have changed, and it's time for the church to reach out within the community," said Steve Jackson, senior pastor at NewSong Community Church. "That's what Forsyth Family Fest is about."

First Baptist Cumming Pastor Robert Jolly said Forsyth Family Fest, scheduled for Sept. 13 at the Cumming Fairgrounds, is a combination concert, fall festival and Sunday morning worship.

"God's been answering prayers," said Jolly, who has been planning the event for the past seven months.

His efforts have been successful in drawing some big names to the event.

Will Graham, grandson of Billy Graham, will preach once in the morning and once in the evening.

Artists like Toby Mac, formerly of DC Talk, Steve Fee and gospel singer Canton Jones are also scheduled to perform.

Jolly said putting the show together wouldn't have been possible without the support of other churches and private donors. First Baptist Cumming raised about $50,000 for the event, Jolly said.

"As other churches saw we were committed to it, they came on board," Jolly said.

Pastors like Jackson saw the event's worth.

"While Forsyth County has lots of churches, there are a lot of people in the community that churches aren't reaching," Jackson said.

"The days of people coming to church just because you have a church are over," he said. "The church has to go out to the people."

He said an event like this one "to my knowledge, has never been done."

"I've lived here since 1981 and there's been nothing of this magnitude ever before in Forsyth County," Jackson said.

He added that Christian musicians like Toby Mac "will attract a younger demographic" to the event.

A carnival-type atmosphere planned for the afternoon could draw an even younger crowd with face painting, balloon animals and inflatables at the fairgrounds.

Jolly said Forsyth Family Fest "should have something for all ages to enjoy."

Jackson said the event will transcend denominational boundaries as well.

"We're putting all of our theological and doctrinal differences aside to say, 'Look, it's all about Christ.'"