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Grace Church Molalla hosts free 'Raise the Roof Fest' with music, food and fun

The summer fun isn't over just yet. With the help of area churches, businesses and organizations, Grace Church Molalla is hosting the first-ever, completely free "Raise the Roof Fest" on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 12-6 p.m.

The purpose of the event is to gather people together in praise and to raise funds for Grace Church's failing roofs. Grace Church Pastor Lee Throne is hopeful this will become an annual event, which will raise funds for the needs of other local ministries in future years.

"We're excited, and we are looking forward to seeing people come and just celebrate and enjoy this together," Throne said.

The multi-church Christian festival involves music, food, a kids' fair and a community fair.

COURTESY PHOTO: LEE THRONE - The John Abraham Band is one of several musical entertainers that will appear at the free 'Raise the Roof Fest' set for Sept. 21 at Grace Church Molalla.

Taking the stage for performances throughout the festival are: gospel bluegrass band Jericho Road, classic rock band Flip Side, John Abraham Worship Band, New History Minstrels, Rivers of Life Reenactors, Marcia Whitehead, True Life Bands, Molalla Nazarene Worship and Redeemed Worship.

There will be free fair-style food including nachos, popcorn, ice cream cones and "designer hot dogs," which are like regular hot dogs but with a plethora of toppings choices. If that weren't enough, Chick-fil-A will also have their food truck at the event with sandwiches for sale.

The kids' fair is sure to be a hit, with face painting, pine-wood derby racing, a petting zoo and basketball in the gym (pony rides may also be available, but that was unconfirmed at the time of press). Additionally, a group of teenage evangelists, called Operation Eternal Impact, will lead a 2-hour kids' backyard Bible club.

The community fair will boast tables and booths from many area organizations including Clackamas County Sheriff's SWAT team, Cub and Girl Scouts, Molalla Fire, Molalla Police and many more.

It's not uncommon for Grace Church to swing open its doors to the community. The church often offers its facilities to other area churches and organizations for their use and the church also serves as a Clackamas County Emergency Management shelter.

Now, the community has the opportunity to return the favor. Almost all of the fun at the festival comes at no cost to attendees, but it is a fundraiser after all. According to Throne, Grace Church was built in the 1970s and the roofs have simply worn out.

"The last storm that we had, we actually had a 30-gallon trash can underneath one of the leaks to catch the water," Throne said, "because it was coming down kind of like a waterfall."

COURTESY PHOTO: LEE THRONE - Grace Church's roofs show extensive wear, which has caused leaks and damage to the interior of the facilities.

With all of the support already from local churches and businesses, the church has begun the process of installing the roofs. But still, funds are needed to cover labor costs and hopefully to begin to repair damage to the interior of the buildings.

There are a number of ways to give. The easiest way is to bring an offering to the festival to drop into one of the donation boxes. Most can also give through their own local church. And for the digitally-minded, online giving is available at

Throne has a special term for any of the offerings given and even for the festival itself.

"We're calling it a 'heave offering,' " Throne said. "It's a special offering in the Bible, where the people brought the best and the strongest and they raised it up to the Lord in a celebration of what he's done."

So, the area churches invite anyone and everyone out for a hopefully sunny and definitely fun celebration.

Throne said organizers are more than willing to accept additional community and kids' fair participants. If interested, contact Grace Church at 503-756-0283.

At the time of press, business sponsors include: Clinkscales Portable Toilets & Septic Service, Wilco Farm Stores, El Charrito, Les Schw3ab, Ferris Wheels Deliveries, Marson's Trucking, 2-Maids-a-Milking, Pepco Designs, Caterpillar Clubhouse, Figaro's Pizza and Chick-fil-A.

Church/ministry supporters include: Grace Church Molalla, New Horizon Fellowship, River Rock Foursquare, Molalla Assembly of God, Molalla Church of the Nazarene, The Country Church, Redeemed Community Church, Estacada First Baptist, Mountain Home Church, True Life Colton, Every Marriage Matters, Fired-Up Youth, Operation Eternal Impact, The Gideons International and Colton Awana.

Nonprofit/governmental supporters include: Molalla Adult Community Center, Cup Scout pack 161, Girl Scout troop 45537, Frontier Girls, Molalla Fire Department, Molalla Police Department, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office, A Safe Place Family Justice Center, Celebrate Recovery and Renaissance Public Academy.

Kristen Wohlers
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