Karen Peck & New River, one of the top performers in Southern Gospel music, will be appearing at First Landmark Missionary Baptist in Ward on Monday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m.

Peck was influenced by traditional gospel music at an early age. Her parents often took Karen and her sisters to gospel concerts in the Atlanta, Georgia area. This upbringing made a major impact on Peck as she later became a singer.

After spending 10 years as a vocalist with The Nelons, Peck formed her own trio, New River, and started her own ministry in 1991. Since then, her group has consistently been one of Southern Gospel music’s finest, scoring many hits and winning countless awards. Among her popular singles include such songs as "When Jesus Passes By," "God Likes to Work," "Four Days Late,’ "Hold Me While I Cry," "I Want to Thank You" and "Mighty Big God."

Aside from Peck, the group currently consists of Susan Peck-Jackson and Jeff Hawes.

This performance is part of a concert series that has brought some of the biggest names in gospel music to Ward.

"We feel we are serving the community in a Christian way by hosting a mix of styles and groups in gospel music," said Carroll Taylor, Pastor of First Landmark Missionary Baptist Church in Ward.

"Gospel songs and hymns are a sermon and a message within themselves," he continued. "We have had some outstanding concerts thus far. They’ve really been a blessing. We plan to keep serving this community by sharing God’s word through song with these concerts."

For this special concert, there is no admission, but a love offering will be accepted. For more information, call 501-628-1838 or 501-850-2056.

Beebe native Charles Haymes is a member of the Country Music Association and the International Bluegrass Music Association. Email him at charleshaymes@gmail.com