It started as a group of youth from area churches gathering together in a local home. Then, seven years ago, they held a concert featuring local Christian music groups.
Now, the 7th Annual PBNJ concert is set for Saturday, Sept. 14, at Prairie Heights High School, with music starting at 6 p.m.
A community youth group gathering will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 6:30 p.m. at the high school auditorium.
Organizer Jim Young began helping with the concert three years ago, working with Rod and Kathy Dunafin, who began the PBNJ group after they went with a group of area youth to a weekend concert at Ball State. Young said that the Dunafins returned wanting to keep working with area youth and began meeting at their house.
Young contacted a booking agent that first year and got a new and coming up Christian rock group, Ashes Remain, to come to Prairie Heights for the concert. Young recalled that the group left Baltimore, Md., where they are based, right after the release of their CD and drove straight through. “They got here just as the evening started,” he said. After a quick setup on stage, they were off and rocking, even playing through some initial tech problems. “They even hung out with the kids afterward for a while,” Young stated. “The band asked about coming back right after the show.” This will be the third year Ashes Remain will be at the PBNJ concert.
Also joining them will be a new contemporary Christian band Samestate, who will be coming straight from a studio in Nashville, Tenn., to perform.
The Matt and Jason Band will start the concert. Clinton Faupel of Ft. Wayne will give the message.
This year, the concert will be held in the PHHS auditorium after the concert has faced rain issues in the past. Young noted that they are looking to find a larger, outdoor venue that will allow them to carry on even if it does rain.
What other plans are being made for future concerts? “We’ll take it wherever God leads us to take it,” Young said. The concert is an outreach of the PBNJ group that Young sees bringing kids closer to Christ. “We’ve got to reach out to them,” Young said. “And these guys can reach them.”