Phillips County News - One Nation, Under God

By Pierre Bibbs
Sports Editor 

18th annual Milk River Gospel Jamboree


Pierre Bibbs

Bruce Rawling sings "How Great Thou Art" during the 18th Annual Milk River Gospel Jamboree at the Malta High School Auditorium last Friday.

The 18th Annual Milk River Gospel Jamboree (MRGJ) filled the Malta High School Auditorium with music, ministry, and even comedy last Friday, June 28 through Sunday, June 30.

Eight gospel performing acts took the stage in an event that hosted hundreds throughout the weekend. Those acts also led praise and worship at various churches in Malta and Saco.

Headliner Tim Lovelace led worship at Assembly Of God Church on Sunday, June 30, The Mahlstedt Family was at the Little White Church, The Daae Family Band was at Elim Lutheran, Bruce Rawling was at Community Church, The Browns were at Grace Fellowship (w/ Lighthouse Baptist Church), Lost and Found Ministries was at Saco Lutheran, Mighty Power Singers were at Malta Lutheran, and Josiah Mullins was at St. Mary's Catholic Church.

On Sunday the PCN caught up with MRGJ President John Koss, who shared his thoughts on how this year's event went.

"We had a great time," Koss said. "Each year that we host the event, it seems like it's a little better and we always feels better about that."

Koss believed that in terms of numbers and donations that the MRGJ has raised enough funds for an event in 2019.

A few of the groups this year crossed the border to perform at the MRGJ including the Mighty Power Singers (MPS), an acapella trio from Edmonton, Alberta. The PCN caught up with MPS on the first-day o the event.

"It's really encouraging to see a good turnout and it is fantastic to hear such a variety of music and s much passion," MPS Lead Singer Doug Mrochuk said. "So we are really encouraged to be here and happy to be here."

The group traveled by bus from over ten hours away for the event. The group shared their opinion of Malta, the town that gave MPS a new distinction.

"If Malta has a gospel jamboree, that is pretty cool," MPS Tenor Andrew Yskes said. "We have never been here before and because of (this event) we are now international recording artists because it is our first time out of Canada."

MPS bass singer Lieuwe Bruinsma shared some of the places that the group had been to as ministers of the Gospel. He was also asked if it felt different to sing outside of Canada.

"We have been singing in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Colombia and this is the first time in Montana," Bruinsma said. "It's no different than any other place."

Though he plays with a band at times, Bruce Rawling of Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan hit the stage as a solo act. Normally Rawling performs his own songs but on Friday evening Rawling performed a set of hymns.

"I usually just do my own songs," Rawling said. "I just kind of pray before and ask 'Spirit what do you want me to do tonight?' and so tonight I did hymns."

Rawling was pretty excited about a new album that he has coming out called the "Fire Isn't Dead", but for now, those interested in checking out his music can purchase it on iTunes.

Rawling has been to the MRGJ a few times over the years and it seems as though he is a fan of playing at the event.

"It's always fun to play here," Rawling said. "It's a nice room, people are friendly and they have good food."

The next MRGJ event is set to take place this fall. The Mini-Jam event will feature local gospel bands.


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