The music in many churches today are overwhelmingly Contemporary Christian. However, in one church, heavy bass, screaming electric guitars and the driving beat of drums gives way to fiddles, banjos, and mandolins. Meeting informally on Sunday evenings, the sound can only be described as joyful; the spirits and bodies are both well fed as each service includes a pot luck. People are encouraged to bring their instruments, including their voices, and join in praise and worship the bluegrass way.
In 1999, Suzie Solomon helped found the Old Country Church, still meeting in Denver, CO on Saturday nights. When Suzie and her husband Gary moved to Idaho Springs, they started a new church with the name, Bluegrass Gospel Church. Suzie also produces the GospelGrass festivals held thoughout the United States (see article Bringing a Ghost Town Alive With Gospel Music in this edition).
On Sunday afternoons, the Miner Pickin‘ music store holds a bluegrass jam. At 6:00 p.m., the focus shifts to gospel songs. Greg Blake, the Flat Pickin’ Preacher, delivers the message when he’s not touring with his band, Jeff Scroggins and Colorado. The church also hosts traveling cowboy preachers, guest bands, and singers, including Bost Family Tradtions from Arizona. The services are often attended by the homeless in the area who appreciate the music, the fellowship and a bite to eat.
In good weather, the church may spill out of the Miner Pickin’s doors and into the park across the street. A “bluegrass gospel flash mob” forms, treating the people of Idaho Springs to a mini gospel concert. If you can’t get to the church because you live too far away, you can watch videos of some of the services and flash mobs at http://www.facebook.com/MinerPickin