CARTHAGE — Once again, the Summer Rock Fest is coming to downtown Carthage.

Bands from across the country — Seventh Day Slumber, Silversyde and Persuaded — will put on a free concert starting at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 20, at the Long Falls Park, Riverside Drive.

Although the concert, presented by the First Baptist Church of Carthage, is free, those coming are encouraged to bring donations for the Village Ecumenical Ministries Food Pantry. Suggested items include shampoo, toothpaste and canned goods.

Playing positive and encouraging music with powerful, life transforming messages on how they overcame addictions and drug and alcohol abuse, the musicians will be incorporating discussions about drugs, alcohol, respect and bullying during their performances.

“In our world today, where 88,000 Americans will die this year due to alcohol and 570,000 will die from other drugs, we believe it’s time folks stop talking about ‘doing something’ and actually start doing something. It’s time we take action,” said the Rev. J. Erik Svereika, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Carthage. “Heroin and opioids are a huge and growing problem facing all ages. These bands are traveling the country trying to raise awareness of the problem and prevent folks from walking down those paths. They also encourage folks already enslaved to these blights to get out and stay out.”

Last year’s event saw about 500 people in attendance, practically doubling the first year’s number.

Gates will open at 5:30 p.m. and backstage passes are available at

No coolers, smoking or drinking is allowed on sight. There will be food as well as band merchandise available.

The event is sponsored by “Cabin 3 — The Outpost,” The First Baptist Church of Carthage and The Village Ecumenical Ministries. Other churches helping include The New Harvest Church of God and The American Baptist North Country Association.

“We heard so many stories of the impact of this event,” Pastor Svereika said, assuring all ages will love the Summer Rock Fest. “Our goal for the festival is prevention of these horrible plagues on society. We hope to educate all ages of the dangers in getting involved, introduced to or even experimenting with these issues. Education is the key to prevention. We believe when folks of all ages hear the testimonies of folks who made it out of these addictions and lifestyles that they will make wise decisions to steer clear of these threats. The concerts will also connect folks already trapped in these issues to find help.”

For more information, call 315-456-9057 or email

The band line-up:


Described on its Facebook page as a rock band “with an unabashed gospel message,” Seventh Day Slumber will headline the concert. The band’s songs — “Oceans From The Rain,” “Inside Out,” “Caroline,” “Finally Awake” and “Wasted Life” — deal with real-life problems including drug addiction, depression and suicide.

Their 2005 release, “Once Upon A Shattered Life,” reached number one on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart, while 2007’s “Finally Awake” topped Billboard’s Top Christian and Gospel Albums chart. In 2009, “Rescatame” earned a GMA Dove Award for Spanish Language Album of the Year.

More information on the band can be found at


According to the band’s website, The Persuaded is a high energy Christian Rock/Metal band formed in 2010 out of the middle Tennessee area. The band recently released a full-length debut — Dawn Of Destruction.

For more on the group visit


The band’s name is a metaphor about finding hope in the worst of circumstances — its members, surrounded by storm clouds cried out for help and found the silver lining in hope, states their website. The female-fronted hard rock band’s albums include “In the Dark.”

Journal & Republican intern Julianne Schindler contributed to this article.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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