Celebrate Easter this Saturday with a free concert, food, games and fellowship.
The member churches of the Payson Christian Ministerial Fellowship are hosting Christian country music artist and evangelist Dennis Agajanian in a special Easter celebration from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 10 at Rumsey Park.
Agajanian will perform at noon.
"I haven't worked with him before, but I've seen him perform," said Pastor Joe Hittle of Calvary Chapel, one of the sponsoring churches. "He is quite a showman and puts on a very intense, dynamic, very riveting program."
Agajanian will perform two sets, Hittle said, each 45 minutes in length, with a 15-minute break between.
"He usually performs with his own band, but we're not using them," Hittle said. "Instead, we are putting together a local group of artists to provide backup."
Agajanian has a long list of credits to his name, including ministering with the Revs. Billy and Franklin Graham, Greg Laurie and Promise Keepers.
He also has won numerous awards including Musician of the Year, twice, and Entertainer of the Year from the Christian Country Music Association.
Agajanian has been performing for more than 35 years and has released numerous recording projects and videos. Among his music releases: "Come On Home," "Con Mi Guitarra En La Mano," "Best Picks II," "Pure Acoustic Blue Grass," "Outlaw," "Empty Hearts," "Best Picks," "There Is No Road," "Just As I Am," "Friendly Fire," "Where Are The Heroes," and "Rebel To The Wrong."
His video releases include: "Lord Give Us America," "Dennis Agajanian Unplugged," "My Way," an guitar instructional video, and "Saigon," a single from his "Outlaw" recording.
He has been in Christian music since 1967.
The self-taught guitarist is recognized as one of the best acoustic players of his time. He also has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest flat picker.
He plays more than 200 concerts a year, but one of his most noteworthy was on May 2, 2002, when he gave an invitational concert commemorating National Day of Prayer at the Pentagon and received a special invitation to the White House by President George W. Bush.
Agajanian also has appeared in performances at The Grand Ole Opry, Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm and Magic Mountain.
Among the artists he has appeared with over the years are Johnny Cash, Ricky Skaggs, Tanya Tucker, Bill and Gloria Gather, Paul Overstreet and Michael W. Smith.
Cited as another highlight of his career, Agajanian appeared and led the music program in honor of Roy Rogers with Billy Graham, Gene Autry, George Beverly Shey, Pat Boone and many others. He also appeared in the 2001 Worldwide Pictures production, "Road to Redemption."
With the friendship and support of his best friend, Franklin Graham, and the Samaritan's Purse operation, Agajanian has built and continues to support three coffee houses in Russia used for outreach. The facilities provide an atmosphere where college students, teens and friends are welcomed to enjoy coffee and snacks while listening to live Christian bands and the word of God. Agajanian and his family also support their "Russian Ministry" which is an outreach that allows more than 30 children from Russia to travel to the family's home up to four times a year.
In addition to the music and ministry of Dennis Agajanian, the Ministerial Fellowship's Easter celebration will include music by area church praise bands, along with a Hispanic band, the youth band, Narrow Path, and other local talent.
Special messages will be presented by Slade Gibson, Pastor Rujilio and Samuel Bradford.
There will be a program by a youth drama team, plus a bounce house and games for children.
Refreshments planned include free snocones, popcorn, desserts, hotdogs, soft drinks and Mexican food.
Bring a lawn chair and plan for fun.
In the event of rain, the special Easter celebration will take place in the gym at Rim Country Middle School.