Three gospel music groups will perform a benefit concert Saturday night for the Little Piney Community Park in Newburg.

Three gospel music groups will perform a benefit concert Saturday night for the Little Piney Community Park in Newburg.

The concert will be at the park. No admission fee will be charged, but donations will be accepted to apply to the mortgage and make more improvements on the property.

“We want people to come down and enjoy what we have here,” said organizer John Dix, a volunteer with the Newburg Community Revitalization Program Group. “We try to have musical entertainment every month. We started in April, and we hope in August to have a variety show.”

On the program for Saturday night are Harvesting Souls, Liberty Belles and Freely Forgiven. The park gates will open at 4:30 p.m. and the music will start at 6. Food will be available for purchase.

Dix said the musicians who perform at the monthly concerts do not charge the NCRPG. They donate their time and talents to help Newburg residents with their bootstrapping community efforts.

“I explain to them this is a benefit for the park,” Dix said. “I find entertainers willing to donate their time.”
He also looks for entertainers who will promote a family atmosphere in the park where no alcohol or drugs are allowed.

Dix is the lead singer of the Harvesting Souls gospel group. He and soprano Debbie Barnes, represent the First Baptist Church of Jerome, while bassist Mark Richmond and alto Jeanette Osborne, both represent First Baptist Church of Newburg.

“We started back in 2010,” Dix said. “I was having a gospel show at my church.” He invited Richmond to join him and Barnes in singing. “I also needed a piano payer so i started calling around and got Jeanette’s name.”

They found out she could sing as well as play piano, so “we formed a group, and we’ve been singing since.”

They perform at churches, nursing homes, the Phelps County Fair, wherever God leads us,” Dix said. Harvesting Souls will sing the gospel at The Grove during the Phelps County Fair on Aug. 3.

“We sing Southern gospel, and a little bit of the newer contemporary gospel,” Dix said.

Ironically, the group born from a search for a piano player sings mostly to soundtracks now; “seldom do we need a piano player,” Dix said.

The Liberty Belles, a women’s trio from Liberty Baptist Church at Columbia, have been singing together since 1997. They are Judy Todd and Dee Worley, both of Columbia, and Jane Hayden, of Ashland,
“Jane sings the low part, with an unusual range for a female vocalist. Dee sings the lead typically, & Judy sings the high part, but they do like to switch things around to keep it interesting,” according to their website.

They sing several styles, ranging from traditional Southern Gospel, to country gospel and bluegrass, as well as a cappella and traditional hymns.

The core members of Freely Forgiven are Mason and Sherry Horn.

“They’ve been at this music ministry a number of years,” Dix said.

Dix encouraged area residents to come to Newburg to hear the music.

“We hope people from the communities surrounding Newburg will come down and enjoy the music and see our work in progress,”?he said.

Dixx noted he and the NCRPG?are grateful for all the support given to Newburg's projects from people outside Newburg, even outside Phelps County.

“We get a lot of donations from surrounding communities,” he said.

After the musical program is over, there will be a fireworks display.

 “It’s going to be a good display. We’re shooting for starting the fireworks around 9:30 p.m. so we can be over in time for people to go to the fireworks in Rolla,” Dix said.

For more information about the Newburg community project, visit the website at