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'We spread the word of God'

August 08, 2009|By MARIE GILBERT

HAGERSTOWN -- Dressed in a T-shirt and blue jeans, Cody Holmes bowed his head and said a prayer before joining his fellow band members on stage.

Within a few minutes, he picked up his bass guitar and created some pulse-pounding music that energized the crowd.

Cody, 17, is a member of Sunday Obsession, a Christian alternative rock band from Harpers Ferry, W.Va. that has been together for about five years, "playing anywhere and everywhere," he said.

"We're like most musicians," the outgoing teenager explained. "We love playing and singing."

Saturday afternoon, the band delivered its message to a crowd of about 100 people at Revive 2009 -- a day of music, speakers and worship sponsored by Revive Outreach Ministries Inc. The daylong event was on the grounds of Right Choice Ministries on Old Forge Road in Hagerstown.

"We spread the word of God," Holmes said. "We give young audiences the sort of music they can relate to, drawing them in with a catchy tune. But our lyrics have a message."

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This was the third year for Revive 2009, said Todd Lady, who with his wife, Ashley, served on the planning committee.

"It's a way for teens to experience God in a special way," he said. "There is a lot of hurt and pain in this world. Our hope is that those who are here today will hear his message and leave as changed people."

While seven bands were featured at the event, Todd Lady, youth pastor at Calvary Temple Church in Williamsport, said Revive 2009 wasn't simply a concert.

"It's also a worship service," he said. "And there is no better place than outdoors, in the middle of God's creation, to hold an event like this."

Revive Outreach Ministries is a nonprofit organization with a vision of forming a partnership with members of many denominations, Ashley Lady said.

"By coming together, we can learn and benefit from each other," she said.

The couple said they had been working for several months on Saturday's event, distributing fliers and getting the message out on MySpace and Facebook.

"We didn't have a budget for advertising," Todd Lady said. "So we did a lot of social networking."

Despite the work involved, the effort was worth it, he said.

"Whether five people show up or 500, we'll still feel like we succeeded," he said.

Among those attending Revive 2009 were Brian and Vickie Shives and their daughter, Autumn, 8, of Berkeley Springs, W. Va.

"We're Christians and we thought this would be a perfect family outing," Brian Shives said. "We thought it would be fun to come out and listen to the music. It's a great setting for our daughter."

Cody said he never thought he would be playing in a Christian rock band. Instead, he pictured himself in a garage band.

"I played trumpet in fifth grade and when I was about 11 years old, I switched to guitar," he said. "My friends and I started a band and did a lot of cover songs."

But one day, he and his friends went to an event where Christian rock music was featured.

"We realized it was all about Jesus," he said.

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