Tent revival offers music and ministry

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BENNINGTON — For the next two weeks, an evangelist husband and wife will be bringing music and ministry to the people of Bennington.

G.W. and Carol Carroll have traveled around the country and the world presenting their revival-style ministries. From now until next Friday, they will be doing their work underneath a tent on the front lawn of the Grace Christian School. The event is being hosted by Cornerstone Fellowship of North Hoosick, N.Y. and the school. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. every night this week Monday through Friday, and again next week.

Providing music alongside the Carrolls were many volunteers from local churches, including Pastor Mike Benoit, who played guitar and led the group in its opening prayer on Tuesday.

G.W. Carroll has been ministering for 43 years, and has visited 38 countries and delivered over 20,000 sermons. The Carrolls have never ministered in Bennington before, though they are no strangers to the area, having previously visited North Hoosick, Rutland, Cambridge, and more. On Monday, the first night of the Carrolls' ministry, they drew about 79 people, a good turnout for opening night, but they hope to have many more by the end of the two weeks.

"This area needs it," said local organizer Melanie Hickey, who helped bring the Carrolls to Bennington.

"I'm here as a missionary to the Northeast," said Carroll, who said that he was not there to force his ideology on anyone, but instead hoped to offer Jesus Christ gently, as a way of life. "America is hurting. It is a hurt and broken nation, and it needs healing. And I believe that healing can come through God... We're watching the pendulum swing back. We're watching America come back to the Bible, back to God."

With inclement weather forecast for Tuesday night, the turnout was lower than on Monday, and Carroll had to warn those who were there that the event could have to be canceled abruptly if it became dangerous. "I think we got the devil mad!" said Carroll. "We're certainly not going to let a little wind and rain keep us from worshiping this week."

While they are not charging any admission for the event, the organizers have started a GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/bringGWtoBennington to help cover their expenses. They have set a goal of $3,500, and raised $1,172 as of Tuesday night.

"In a time when the Bennington area is plagued with drug and alcohol dependence, teen pregnancy, and all other manner of sin, we believe that it is time to stand up and say enough is enough and take our city back for the cause of Christ and for the church to stand up and be just that... the church," wrote Hickey and fellow event organizer Shane Meaney in a letter that was distributed to local churches, "This is a call to action to be the hands and the feet of Jesus and to put denominational differences aside and come together for our common goal: To reach a lost and dying world with the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ."

To learn more about the Carrolls, visit www.powerlifewiththecarrolls.com.

Reach staff writer Derek Carson at 802-447-7567, ext. 122 or @DerekCarsonBB

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