SPRINGFIELD – Wednesday morning’s business at the 2010 annual meeting of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) will be accompanied by strumming banjos, lively fiddles and a thumping upright bass as Southern Raised leads Missouri Baptists in worship with a bluegrass flavor.
Southern Raised is a four-member family from the tiny town of Hurley in southwest Missouri. They are made of up of the Reith family: Lindsay, Sarah, Emma Grace and Matthew.
At 22 years old, Lindsay, plays the upright bass and sings lead and baritone vocals. Sarah, 20, plays banjo in the style of Earl Scruggs and sings high tenor. Emma Grace plays fiddle and the mandolin. The youngest Reith at 10 years old, Matthew plays rhythm guitar and flat picks while singing lead and harmony vocals.
Southern Raised began in the spring of 2007, when they were asked to play at a church function and from there the Lord has continued to open doors. They are already booked at churches, festivals and camps throughout much of 2011, including three days at Silver Dollar City’s Red Gold Hall. Their CD, Someday will be available at the annual meeting.
Meanwhile, the Missouri Music Men, a group of about 40 worship leaders and laymen from around the state, will lead in congregational worship.
The annual meeting will be a precursor to the group’s upcoming 10-day tour of Northern Ontario, a region of Canada the MBC has chosen to partner with in an effort to plant churches. The cost of the tour is $750 and is limited to 85 people (including spouses). The deadline to sign up is Dec. 1.
“We want to create an audience for the Gospel to be heard,” said John Francis, director of the Missouri Music Men and worship specialist for the MBC. “We will do seven to eight concerts, with several mini-concert opportunities. We will be singing in concert halls and in small towns to create an audience. The Gospel will be strongly presented, and then church planting teams will be there to attempt to help start churches in the areas we will have sung.”
Francis said the Canada trip will build off the success of a similar trip to El Salvador in January of 2009.