Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jesus at the Beach Intends to Light Up Attendees with Music

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jesus at the Beach Intends to Light Up Attendees with Music

Article excerpt

Byline: Tamara McClaran, Shorelines correspondent

Jesus at the Beach, a musical festival celebrating contemporary Christian music, will return to the First Christian Church of the Beaches on Saturday.

It's the third time in four years the church has hosted the free event, which is modeled after Town Center's annual Dancin' in the Streets festival. Jesus at the Beach is billed as a day of contemporary Christian music, sun, fun and food.

"It's a family event, and we encourage families to come as well as members of the Beaches' churches," said Jimmy Gilbert, Neptune Beach's vice mayor, who also is a performer and a member of the host church.

Musical groups representing First Christian Church of the Beaches, Neptune Beach Baptist Church and Hodges Boulevard Presbyterian Church are slated to perform. Gilbert, who played for many years with the Mike Shackelford Band, Justin and Donjano Joe, appears in two of the featured acts.

A Joyful Noise, a contemporary group that performs weekly at the church's Sunday celebration service, features Gilbert on bass guitar. He also plays guitar with Sister Jimmy & the Jesus Freaks, a group of local musicians featuring Chris Jenkins on bass, Scott Carpenter on guitar and David Jax on drums.

"We play more of a gospel rock blues," Gilbert said.

Gilbert's sons, Cale and Ian, will also be performing during Jesus at the Beach with their band, Steadfast. The five-piece group, which is made up of area teenagers, formed about a year ago. Other members are John Merritt and brothers Lucas and Michael Pappas.

Steadfast has a commanding sound that demonstrates the musical influences of James Taylor, Sheryl Crow, Led Zeppelin and Toby Keith. The group performs many original songs and has released two CDs, which will be on sale during the festival. …

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