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TV's 'Power Team' coming to W.Va.

March 08, 1999|By BRYN MICKLE

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A different brand of Christian testimonials is headed for the Eastern Panhandle.

The Power Team, a group of inspirational and motivational speakers who punctuate their religious message with feats of strength, will begin a five-day appearance Wednesday at the Covenant Baptist Church in Shepherdstown.

The featured act of the weekly "The Power Connection" show on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the highly muscular group has been known to snap police handcuffs, bend inch-thick steel with their teeth and run headfirst through eight-foot thick walls of ice.

"They do all these weird feats of strength. It's their way of earning the right to speak. You sit there watching and thinking, 'That would hurt,'" said Covenant publicity director Grant Yeary.

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The group uses those feats of strength to capture young people's attention then deliver messages on drugs, alcohol, sex and AIDS.

School assemblies are being planned for Berkeley and Jefferson counties while the Power Team is in the Eastern Panhandle. The group has performed in more than 40 countries and has held more than 7,000 public school assemblies.

Yeary said part of the group's appeal is linked to the increased popularity of professional wrestling.

"You have these big guys doing all these different acts, only they don't slam into each other. It's kind of the same feel," said Yeary.

The team's 1994 Shepherdstown appearance drew more than 2,000 people to Covenant Baptist Church, according to the church.

In addition to having their own television show, members of the group have been featured in magazines and several major television programs, including an appearance last month on "Walker, Texas Ranger."

The Power Team will perform from March 10-14 nightly at 7 p.m. A $2 donation is suggested by the Covenant Baptist Church.

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