The Ignite Festival

Welcome! I had the chance to attend The Ignite Festival in Meadville on September 9. What a night! There were easily 700 people there, and the bands were great. This annual event has been a free festival for nine years, thanks to generous donors.

I heard The Northside, Jk.A, Flame, and my all-time favorite band, RED, perform. To be honest, I’d never heard of any of the groups except RED. They all reached different audiences, which is good, since I saw age groups ranging from toddlers to senior citizens at the concert. It was great seeing so many people gather to worship and enjoy music of all different genres.

Flame put on a great show. He’s a very engaging hip-hop singer and got the crowd to do sort of a call-and-answer as he sang. It was fun.

Jk.A really impressed me. He’s a young rapper (I think he’s 11, but he may have had a birthday since the last information about him was posted online) with a strong Christian message. He writes his own lyrics and has dealt with bullying, so I’m sure he reached kids in the audience. I think he’s got a big future ahead of him.

The Northside kind of reminded me of Casting Crowns, if you’re familiar with their music. They’re sort of adult contemporary Christian.

RED finally took the stage around 10:20 p.m. By then the temperature had dropped to about 45 degrees, and most of the young families headed home. But the die-hards, like me, stayed. They still had a big crowd. They sang some of my favorite songs, such as “Let Go,” “Falling Sky,” and “Hide.” They’re true professionals, too. Their sound system failed at least three times during the show, but Anthony and Randy Armstrong kept playing their guitars and Michael Barnes kept singing. It was great seeing Linesville’s famous sons in their own backyard again.

Between sets a speaker shared about a wonderful program called Save the Storks. This organization works with woman in crisis pregnancies. In other words, girls and women considering abortions. Many Christians support pregnancy resource centers, which provide counseling and help women from finances to formula, but most girls in crisis pregnancies don’t know they exist. This is where Save the Storks comes in.

Their Stork Bus, or Mobile Medical Unit, is a Mercedes Benz Sprinter with a sonogram and ultrasound machine inside the van. Pregnancy resource centers get these vans and park in front of abortion clinics, university campuses, and at public events, such as The Ignite Festival. When these girls hear their baby’s heartbeat on the surround sound and see their babies on the flat screens, four out of five girls considering abortions cancel their abortion appointment and choose life. One point the speaker made that struck me is that Christian and non-Christian girls, girls from good families and bad, all seek abortions. They fear judgment or want to get rid of the problem: their baby. I’m so glad for Save the Storks, especially their Stork Busses. For more information, visit

Have a wonderful week. Blessings!