CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – The 15th Annual Jesus Fest was back in full effect in the downtown area this past weekend, with roughly 2,000 people stopping by to enjoy the excitement.
Those who stopped by got the chance to hear live music from approximately 15 bands, some of which were from out of state. Jesus Fest’s President Michael Gallo said some of the acts were more local and from praise and worship groups in places like Buckhannon, Weston and Clarksburg.
“The main goal here is to save souls for Jesus,” Gallo said. “As they preached here and as the churches did their outreach program, this year, we had almost 10 people get baptized in the city streets of Clarksburg. And we had, approximately, a dozen people who gave their lives at the altar call during the band’s performances. So, we had almost two dozen people here this year, at Jesus Fest, to give their life to the Lord. And if we only had one, it was worth all the hard work. We had almost two dozen people and that’s just — we just praise the Lord for that.”
After Jesus Fest was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gallo said he and everyone else involved were “very saddened”. However, they did not give up.
Instead, they started planning in Jan. 2021 because they knew it would be back in the downtown area by the summer.
“We never had any doubts in our mind that it would be canceled this year, so after that one year of absence, let me tell you, we were just rejoicing that the Lord was blessing us, to be able to do it this year,” Gallo said
In 2021, Jesus Fest is trying something different in order to attract bigger acts, speakers and entertainers, Gallo said.
They are starting what is called “The Faithful 300” in order to be able to pay for these bigger names, but still keep Jesus Fest 100 percent free to the public.
“We’re trying to get 300 people to give us $100 before the first of February of next year,” Jesus Fest’s President said. “That way we have $30,000 that will be able to go out and, really, get speakers and groups that come in here for the people, instead of them having to pay big money to go to Christian concerts to listen to the big names. It’ll be a free concert. That way, I think, we’ll draw more people in so we can get more souls saved.”
Creating the Faithful 300 is not an easy task, that is why Jesus Fest has given itself until 2022 to complete its objective. But, Gallo said he has faith that they can achieve their goal and save more souls.
One thing that will make the Fest’s mission easier is if more people came on board, he said, to help organize and run the three-day-long event.
“We are reaching out to more people to join Jesus Fest Committee,” Gallo said. “We would love to have more churches involved or organizations. The more people you get involved, the more people we can touch for the Lord.”