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Using music to reach out

Sedgwick United Methodist Church is employing an old trick to reach out to more people - music.

The church has booked The Gracemen, a Southern Gospel quartet, to play for anyone who wants to come July 17.

"It's an open invitation to come hear a great quartet," said Willard Metz, pastor at Sedgwick United Methodist Church. "They are an outstanding quartet, very spiritually minded. It will be worth anyone's time to stop by."

The group is

based in Barboursville, W.Va., traveling 47 weekends out of the year spreading the gospel through song.

"Our ministry is a singing ministry," said Rick Poling, a member of The Gracemen. "We go in and sing and be a help to the church."

Ralph Weekley, Jimmy L. Toler II, Larry A. Mills and Bob Wintz make up the quartet by singing while Poling plays the piano. They have been singing separately for quite a while, but have only been traveling together for three years.

"We decided our calling was to go out on the road," Poling said.

Metz said bringing in a group like The Gracemen is important because the church can reach out to more people by inviting anyone to listen.

The Gracemen will perform at 6 p.m. July 17 at Sedgwick United Methodist Church, 1717 Reynolds St., in Ironton.

The public is welcome to attend.

Other churches in the area also use music as key elements to their ministries. For a listing of upcoming concerts, see page 6A.