LAURINBURG — When Eddie James takes the stage at Scotland High School on Monday night, concert organizers are hoping the Christian musician will lay the ground for spiritual revival as well as a night of entertainment.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. for Monday’s free concert, which begins at 7 p.m. Lee Jackson, pastor of Lighthouse International Outreach Ministries in Laurinburg and one of the concert’s organizers, says that a diverse musical selection won’t be the only thing James offers to his Scotland County audience.
“We’re putting him in a setting where it’s un-churchy, but he can do ministry,” Jackson said. “It’s just a wide open venue, but where it’s not about this church or that church: it’s about God.”
James, a native of Phoenix, Arizona, founded Eddie James Ministries in 1993 and released his first album “Higher” with the Phoenix Mass Choir in 1995. Since then, he has recorded 10 other projects that grapple with contemporary issues, including “Break the Walls,” a musical production that deals with drugs, violence, pre-marital sex, racism, and dysfunctional families.
“It’s not necessarily what you expect church music to be,” said Jackson. “These kids are up, dancing, running the aisle, dancing. It’s not a slow singing, four men standing with a microphone. This is wide open, high energy, high impact.”
James is also the founder of Dream Life, a recovery program that rehabilitates teenagers and youth from lives of crime, substance abuse, and emotional instability. Dream Life is headquartered in Lawrenceville, Georgia and houses some 60 high school and college-aged youth.
Those youth will be among the singing and dancing talent behind Monday’s evening of music, drama, and spiritual testimony.
“These kids are very talented, and very anointed — the thing is, nobody knows them because of the lifestyle they’re coming out of,” Jackson said.
“They come from all over the world and stand up and give their testimony. It’s really impactful for kids and young adults to see a 17-year-old that they can relate to that says: yes I used to cut, or I’ve had addiction problems and look what God’s done for me.”
Monday’s concert is free and open to all — and those who may not think Christian music is to their taste are invited to give it a chance and possibly find inspiration to renew their faith and embrace their own talents.
“They do everything from hip-hop to rap; he’s got some kids that can flat-out just flow, rapping,” said Delton Williams, a Lighthouse member. “They’ll come up and do spoken word, think coffee shop open mic night, where they’ll just do lyrical prose.”
“Some of these kids come from where they’ve been told they were nothing; yet they can draw, they can sketch,” said Williams. “You see some of the stuff that (James) can pull out of them because he cares about them and he shows them that God’s there for them.”
For more information, call 910-276-0060.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.