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Grand Daddy Of Contemporary Christian Music Festivals Returning To The Bluegrass

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Stu Johnson
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Servant Heart Farm Amphitheater

The Contemporary Christian Music Festival, Ichthus, is scheduled to once again make its presence known this weekend outside Wilmore. Beginning at noon Saturday, bands and speakers will take to the stage at Servant Heart Farm.

The first Ichthus took place in the spring of 1970 at the Wilmore Campgrounds. Then Asbury Seminary Professor Bob Lyon had an idea for something different than the Woodstock Music Festival just a year earlier. His wife Judy Lyon remembers his comments made to a group of students. “My husband said to them, ‘don’t you think there ought to be an alternative to it. So, that little sentence is what got this group started’,” said Lyon.

Bob Lyon passed away in 2004. Retired Methodist Minister Bill Moore and his brother Ron played the first Ichthus at the Wilmore Camp Meeting site in 1970. “A rather humble beginning with just, I don’t know, four or five hundred people to begin with. To what became an incredible Christian cultural phenomenon over the coming years,” said Moore.

The Ichthus Festival concluded its run at the farm off U.S. Highway 68 in 2012. This year’s Ichthus organizer Joe Lycan said the festival will be a Christ-centered day of songs, preaching, and worship.

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