CREATION 2019 will be held June 26 to June 29, 2019 at the Agape Farm near Mt. Union, Pennsylvania. The farm has become a second home to the tens of thousands who travel to the festival each year to attend, camp and to be spiritually enriched.
Creation's theme is "A Tribute to Our Creator." From the moment you step on to the grounds and set up your camp, there is a sense that this place and this time is about Jesus. At times it feels like a family gathering because you get to meet and have fellowship with people from all over the globe who love the Lord. There are many activities, games, music and speakers, and of course those special times of fellowshipping with friends at your campfire.
A typical day starts at 9 a.m. and concludes at 11:30 p.m. This year's main stage artists include some of the hottest bands in Christian music, representing a wide variety of musical styles. Creation also provides inspiring speakers who will help encourage you in your spiritual journey.
I had the great opportunity to interview Creation Festival General Manager, Bill Darpino about what to expect this year at the 2019 event.
What can we look for that is new this year at Creation 2019?
This year at Creation Festival, we continue to highlight our newly expanded Worship stage as well as welcome first-time appearances from Elevation Worship, Hillsong Worship & Kari Jobe. We are also excited about our Expanded Teaching times throughout the week and our new Prayer Walk, which is a hiking trail that features time alone with God and reflection.
We are also thrilled about welcoming Save the Storks for the first time this year. They will serve a large part of Creation Festival. At Creation, we come together to "Give Tribute to our Creator," the giver of life, and what better way to do this than to support life for all, especially the unborn. We are working together this summer to help Save the Storks revolutionize the meaning of pro-life. We hope everyone will join us this summer and become part of the movement.
To help make Creation Festival easy, we have developed a new Meal Plan that anyone can take advantage of. And when you link that together with Camp Creation, a summer camp experience, it takes Creation Festival to the next level for Youth Leaders and their groups.
Something very special, new and exclusive to Creation this year is our special guest, Jonathan Cain. He will be joining us Wednesday night at Creation Festival 2019. Jonathan Cain is most notably known for his connection as a member of the band Journey and writing the songs "Don't Stop Believing" and "Faithfully." If you come for the day, or the week, you will not want to miss this!
Please describe the mission and ministry of the event and if there are any new initiatives this year.
Our Mission is simple: To see this generation become a Tribute to our Creator!
Our tribute starts when we individually GIVE our lives, to Jesus Christ our Savior!
Our Tribute continues when we LIVE our lives, by the example of Jesus Christ. Living out love, humility, justice, and mercy–abandoned to the will of God.
With 40 years behind us, we now look to a new and exciting future for Creation Festival, where people of all ages can gather and experience community through music, the Truth of God's Word, worship, relationship in God all in the beauty of Creation. We believe that when you experience the Creation Music Festival Community you will encounter life-changing moments that will inspire you, give you hope and change in your heart through the Love of Jesus Christ, inspiring each of us to be a Tribute to our Creator in our families, our churches, local communities and the world!
Regarding headliner bands Skillet and Andy Mineo, I'm excited to see these talented best-selling artists at Creation. I love that these artists–which have each had mainstream success–are on the main stage along with CCM heavyweights Crowder, Kari Jobe, and Hillsong Worship.
Does the festival hope to attract some new fans with these high-profile artists and how do they each fit the mission of the festival?
Yes, we always strive to provide a diverse program where anyone can come and enjoy. It is exciting to offer so many extraordinary bands, and performers that people know and love, in both the Mainstream and CCM listening channels. You may not go to church, you may not know what Creation is all about but everyone can come together for great music and find a common connection and acceptance in the community that is formed, at the Creation Music Festival, outside the "4 walls" of the Church. Music, as it is said, is the universal language and we hope that everyone can come and enjoy these great bands. We want them to have fun, be inspired and experience something like no other festival, or event, they have ever been to.
Please describe the artist selection process and overall daily ministry options including speakers, other music stages and special events.
In short, the program selection process is a wide range of variables in an equation that you may or may not have any control over. We develop lists, that we have considered, to walk out our mission, feature new and up-and-coming artists, provide diversity in style, level, innovation, and impact. We work very hard to offer the Creation Festival fans a great program for one of the best values out there.
The options and experiences are vast, offering an unparalleled value for a summer festival. We offer multiple music stages with a variety of musical styles and bands from national headliners, to regional and local favorites. We offer many seminars each day that inspire, equip and provide challenging questions and answers on topics that we face in our lives, families, work, communities and country.
With a strong family focus we provide a safe and fun environment that has a great Kids Stage and exciting activities in our Kid Zones every afternoon. We offer bounce houses and fun inflatables to help mom and dad give the kids activities to get some built up energy out.
Creation is set in the beautiful mountains of Central PA and with it comes an outdoor experience that is like no other. The Agape Farm Retreat Center, where Creation Music Festival is held, provides a serene setting for four days that supports the various ministries at the Festival. There is a wooded prayer walk, hiking trails, and a mountaintop look-out that is awe-inspiring. Located nearby is Raystown Lake that offers swimming, biking, boating, fishing, and lodging options if you want to take an afternoon excursion.
A few of our signature ministry moments of the week, that both inspire and are always life changing, are our Thursday night communion, Friday night Candle Lighting service and Saturday afternoon baptism service.
As I mentioned before, we offer a broad program of teaching and seminars that are presented by a diverse and extraordinary team of speakers. These speakers will provide challenging and inspiring messages that cover many topics from a biblical worldview. Our hope is that you come away inspired to dig deeper into the Bible and explore its truth.
We are excited about our new and expanded work with Save the Storks at Creation 2019, as our title ministry partner. We know their mission will connect with you, as it did with us, and you will want to stand with them as they continue to revolutionize the meaning of pro-life. Do not miss all that Creation has to offer along with seeing and hearing firsthand what Save the Storks is doing for the unborn. See their ultrasound bus, hear how they partner with local pregnancy care centers and see how you can make a difference by joining with them in this fight for life.
Thank you for your time Bill! Switching over to Aodhan King, of Hillsong Worship and John Cooper of Skillet, what should we expect to see from you this year at Creation 2019?
Aodhan King (Hillsong Worship): I'm personally excited to be at Creation again. I've been there twice, and I'm looking forward to appearing with Hillsong Worship. In speaking with Brooke, she doesn't want to waste a moment. At Creation Festival, we are pursuing being in the presence of God, and nothing else. Her prayer and our prayer as Hillsong Worship is that people experience God, and that they are changed. We desire for people to worship as they never have. That's our hope for this year.
John Cooper (Skillet): It will be great to be back at Creation. One of the cool things is that it is still in my mind the mainstay of Christian music festivals. When I think about Creation, I still remember the first time we played on the side stage, and nobody knew who we were, and hardly anyone sang our songs with us, and I wondered if maybe one day I'd get the chance to play on the main stage. I wasn't even looking for us to be a headliner. At the time, there were not really any hard rock bands on the main stage. Then I remember we got to play later in the day on the side stage. I think of 1999, and compared to then, and thinking about the number of fans that show up for us now and know the words to our songs, it really is a dream come true. I never thought they'd have a hard rock band on the main stage. I have a lot of nostalgic memories. You can expect a lot of energy from us. We are playing some new music. We are excited about that.
Creation is not just another festival. It is a Life Changing experience that can only be understood once you are there with the other tens of thousands of believers. Creation is open and available to all who would want to come and we know that this will be the "Highlight of Your Summer, Maybe Your Life!"
NRT Lead Contributor Kevin Davis is a longtime fan of Christian music, an avid music collector and credits the message of Christian music for leading him to Christ. He lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and three daughters.
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