Praisefest Branson was one of those events I'd always heard about but never been able to experience. This year, I decided to fix that. The event was held at the Mansion Theater over the course of three days with more than 10 different artists.
As my grandmother and I were driving back to where we stayed Thursday night, we said if the rest of the weekend was like that it would be one of those events we wouldn't forget. It was! I keep trying to pinpoint a favorite session, but they were all great and different because of the artists, comedian or speaker.
Gerald Wolfe kicked off the first night with a little hymn singing "The Family of God" and "Because He Lives." On Thursday night, the featured artists were the Jim Brady Trio, Greater Vision, Aaron Wilburn and Triumphant Quartet.
Here are some highlights of Thursday night (in order of the night) -
- "Greatest of All Miracles" (Jim Brady Trio) - I love to hear Melissa Brady sing this Squire Parsons song. She talked about her dad and what a great testimony he had of completely turning his life around for Christ.
- "I Know a Man Who Can" (Greater Vision) - No surprise that Greater Vision had some requests for this song. In my opinion, no one does it better than Chris.
- "Hallelujah" (Triumphant Quartet) - The group sang its own version of this song that was included on their latest Christmas project. If you see them anytime soon, make sure to request this song. Each member takes a verse and it walks through the life of Christ to the melody of the popular Leonard Cohen song.
- "Side by Side" (Aaron Wilburn) - This definitely wasn't the most spiritual moment of the night, but Aaron Wilburn sang the song that George Younce sang during one of his public appearances. The audience definitely enjoyed it!
- "He Is" (Triumphant Quartet) - The quartet ended their second set with this song. I love their version of this song that is such a reminder of God's power and presence throughout all of scripture.
- "That Sounds Like Home to Me" (Jim Brady Trio) - Loved hearing the trio on this Goodman classic.
- "My Name is Lazarus" (Greater Vision) - Greater Vision ended the night with probably Rodney Griffin's most-loved song.
Friday morning started the same way as Thursday night with Gerald leading the audience in a couple of hymns.
Here are highlights of Friday morning -
- "Hallelujah Square" (Greater Vision) - I think this was another request from the night before. Always enjoy hearing Chris on this one!
- "I'll Carry Him" (Greater Vision) - I don't get to hear this song often enough live! I forget what a powerful song it is. So glad they chose to include this in the morning set!
- "I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked" (TaRanda Greene) - I was really glad that she did a few solo songs that morning. I don't remember ever getting to hear her sing this one live. It's such an incredibly powerful song!
- "It Is Well With My Soul" (TaRanda Greene) - Her version of this hymn is simply incredible! Probably the moment of the morning for me! (Funny side note: Aaron Wilburn was right after this, he took the stage and asked, "How do I even begin to follow that?" )
- "Lay Up Treasures in Heaven" (Mark Trammell Quartet) - They sang several fast songs from their latest project, but this one is probably my favorite.
- "My Faith Still Holds" (Mark Trammell Quartet) - Love, love, love this song from their Full Sail project. It's always a highlight to hear them sing this in person.
- "Too Much to Gain to Lose" (Mark Trammell Quartet) - Love hearing Mark featured on this song!
Will post the second session on Friday and Saturday morning later this week!