Wesley brings acoustic Christian act

Josh Ray

They’re Christians. They’re musicians, and they are coming to Joplin.

Dave Barnes and Matt Wertz will be performing at the Wesley Foundation Center Friday.

Barnes and Wertz are two individual artists who have toured the country performing Christian music.

While they have been in pretty much every state and have been to Springfield “quite a few times,” Kristin James, junior nursing major, said this is the first time they have performed in Joplin.

The show will consist mainly of acoustic guitars and singing, but James said the two will throw in comedy in between songs.

“When they get up there, they’re hilarious,” she said.

The two musicians were invited to come to Missouri Southern because James knew Wertz from church in her hometown. She said he performs a lot at YoungLife retreats over the summer.

Jennifer Lotz, campus minister, said this is the first concert the Wesley Foundation has produced. James said it’s been hard to promote the bands because “they’re not well known,” but she believes the concert will be a hit with the audience.

“I think it should go over really well,” James said. “We’ve had a good response from the people we’ve talked to.”

The concert is not just for college students, however. Lotz said they are trying to get high school students to attend as well. She hopes students will be able to learn about campus ministries at the college level.

She also hopes this will help future college students from getting “lost” when they come to Southern.

“Students need to know a campus ministry is out there,” she said. “I think campus ministries is a very important thing.”

A CD signing was originally scheduled at 4 p.m. Friday at Great Expectations, a Christian book store in Joplin. The signing has been canceled, though.

Doors for the concert open at 6 p.m., but the concert will not start until 7 p.m. Lotz said the Foundation will be having a coffeehouse, games and offer information on campus ministries for the audience.

James said if this concert works out, there might be more events like it in the future.

“If this goes over as well as we’re looking for, it’s a definite possibility,” she said. “We’ll definitely do it again. It’s been a learning experience, but it’s been fun so far.”

James said the concert will at least give students something to do if they cannot find something.

“It’s going to be just something to do on Friday night,” she said.

Tickets are $3 in advance and $5 at the door. They can be purchased at Great Expectations and the Wesley Foundation Center. Lotz said there was no limit on the number of people who could attend the concert.

The Wesley Foundation Center is located one mile east of Southern on Newman Road. For information, persons may call 782-5702 or 659-3769.