One of the state’s biggest gospel music events will be returning to Cullman next weekend.
The North Alabama Quartet Convention, hosted by the Cullman-based Living Faith Quartet, will bring two days of gospel music back to Temple Baptist Church’s Cullman campus on Highway 157. The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Jan. 17 and 1 p.m. on Jan. 18.
General admission will be free on both days, but there are also VIP passes available for $30 that include seats in front of the stage and a gift bag featuring two gospel CDs and other trinkets, said Mark Byrd, bass singer for the Living Faith Quartet.
A love offering will also be collected to help pay for the costs of the convention, he said.
Despite the name, the convention will not only feature quartets, as there will be a few soloists and trios among the 21 groups that are planned to perform over the weekend, Byrd said.
Last year was the first time that the Living Faith Quartet hosted the convention, and around 1,600 people attended over the weekend despite some heavy rains that likely kept some indoors, he said.
“We were very, very happy with the turnout,” he said. “We had a great, great time.”
After last year’s event, people in Cullman and around the region have spread the word about the convention, and there have been people from as far away from Texas and Michigan who have said they were coming to Cullman next week to hear the gospel groups who will be performing, Byrd said.
He said local people have also had a great response to the event, and their reaction highlights one of the main reasons that the North Alabama Quartet Convention was started.
Around 20-25 years ago, there were regular gospel events that would bring a few groups into Cullman throughout the year, but all of those began to die out over the years, leaving nothing like that today, Byrd said.
Knowing that there were people who missed those events, the Living Faith Quartet decided to pick up the slack, and based on last year’s attendance and what looks to be a packed house next weekend, it seems like others have agreed that the area was missing a gospel music presence, Byrd said.
“We just wanted to bring gospel back to Cullman, and people are loving it,” he said.