Youth Night at the Auglaize County Fair Gospel Tent will be filled by praise and worship music this year.
The band â€śAt The Crossâ€ť is bringing new-age music along with worship music for the youth crowd at the fair on Youth Night, which is Wednesday, Aug. 3.
This is the second year for Rodney Ritchie, of Unleashed Youth Ministries, to help Tom Knoch, of the Gospel Tent Committee, with finding talent to perform for Youth Night at the Gospel Tent. Ritchieâ€™s goal is to help
bring up the attendance during Youth Night in the Gospel Tent at the fair.
Ritchie is the youth pastor at New Hampshire Church of the Nazarene and is the founder of Unleashed Youth Ministries, which is a non-denominational youth group for kids in the area.
â€śTom Knoch was looking for someone to take over the Youth Night,â€ť Ritchie said. â€śHe looked at doing away with Youth Night because of attendance.â€ť
After hearing this, Ritchie stepped in because he wants to continue Youth Night and is working on bringing attendance up for this night.
The attendance at the Youth Night at the Gospel Tent has dropped during the past few years because â€śBroken Yoke,â€ť who had been the leading headliner for the youth had broken up and stopped playing.
Last year, Ritchie was able to bring in a praise and worship band for the Youth Night, and this year he is excited to debut â€śAt The Crossâ€ť for their first performance at the Auglaize County Fair.
â€śI think the fair crowd will like them,â€ť Ritchie said. â€śThey are a great praise and worship group.â€ť
â€śAt The Crossâ€ť consists of five members, vocals and guitarist Ian Hayes, vocals and acoustic guitarist Aaron Blevins, bass and vocalist Darin Gillespie, percussionist Chad Bryan and vocalist Jessica Hayes.
This group is from the Allen Country area, has been together for four years, and have performed at many cities, including venues in Cincinnati, Fort Wayne and the Allen County Fair.
â€śWhen we get the opportunity to bring God to the youth, we cannot wait,â€ť Ian Hayes said.
The group is blessed to be able to share the gospel of Jesus Christ through high energy praise and very emotional worship music intended to bring the listener closer to the throne of God.
All of the members are active in their own churches in the Lima area, and in addition to playing in the band, each member has made it part of their ministry to reach out and help organizations in need. This includes The United Methodist Childrenâ€™s Home, mission trips to Grenada, the Celebrate Recovery Program in Allen County, missions trips to Sierra Linda in Mexico and youth summer camps.
Hayes said their style of music also takes a fresh approach.
â€śWe have a lot of interaction with the crowd,â€ť Hayes said. â€śWe like to get them as involved as possible.â€ť
The band is currently working on their first album, which will include cover songs along with their own music they have written.
At their performance at the Gospel Tent, the group will mainly play cover songs, to relate to the youth, in the one-hour time spot.
â€śWe appreciate the opportunity to spread the word,â€ť Hayes said. â€śWeâ€™re looking to have a good time.â€ť
â€śAt The Crossâ€ť will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. at the Auglaize County Fairâ€™s Gospel Tent on Youth Night, Wednesday, Aug. 3.