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Gospel gets its day

Cooper Creek Baptist launches a mini festival

Cooper Creek Baptist Church member David Ray saw a vacuum and filled it.

The local Baptist and bona fide music lover has organized GospelFest 2013.

In 2011, Mavis Staples and the Staples Singers whipped a crowd of college-age music lovers into a lather during 35 Denton, and gospel groups get a fair hearing at the Argyle Bluegrass Festival. But if there have been weekend festivals dedicated expressly to Southern gospel music, they’ve happened under wraps.

Ray has started small, but he’s hoping to gain some momentum.

“I’ve been bringing gospel musicians and groups to town for a while now,” Ray said. “I’d bring them to the church, and look for other places they might play.”

Dove Creek Cafe in Roanoke, for instance, has live gospel music on a regular basis.

For Saturday night, Ray booked the Revelations Quartet, Lou Cotton, Wendell Splawn and the Vessels to play at 6 p.m. at Cooper Creek Baptist.

“There’s a lot of gospel music in the region, and I wanted to do something to bring those artists together for an event,” Ray said.

The festival is free, and will feature Southern gospel bands and vocal groups for about two and a half hours.

Refreshments will be served at intermission, and local Christian broadcasters will attend.

Cooper Creek Baptist Church is located at 4582 Fishtrap Road in Denton.

— Lucinda Breeding