Paris residents return a fan favorites

The talents of Paris residents Amanda Fessant, Jim Blue and B.J. Fessant were recognized and honored during a week-long event held in Jefferson, Texas.

The King Country Agape Fest provides fans of Christian country music an opportunity to cast votes for their favorite vocalists, radio personalities, instrumentalists and songwriters.

When the votes were in, Paris was well represented during the awards ceremony as Amanda Fessant came home with two top honors for her musical talents, while B.J. Fessant and Jim Blue were honored as "Radio Personalities of the Year."

Amanda Fessant was named the "Female Vocalist of the Year" and the "Female Songwriter of the Year."

"It was an evening of wonderful surprises," explained Amanda who finisted in the top five in six categories. "I had hoped for at least one but two was way beyond my dreams."

"I was extremely excited for Jim and B.J.," she said.  "They do so much for this community and to have them honored was such a sweet surprise.  My congrats goes out to both of them."

It was a busy week for the popular Christian music artist as she judged the talent competition and songwriting competition and also performed with her daughter Maddie Mae at a special memorial held for the late Bob Wilson and performed for the Top Five Show in addition to several showcases.

"All in all it was a very busy and delightful week," said Marion Pate, Amanda's mom and Maddie Mae's grandmother.

Following the Agape Fest awards presentation, Amanda, Maddie Mae and Marion left Texas to meet up with the HIS Dance Troupe and Amanda's son DJ in Nashville where they attended the Sunday morning Opry program.

The program is put on each year by the Music City Christian Fellowship which Fessant and her daughter are both members.  Fessant serves on a committee that is responsible for bringing the program together.

The next day they flew to Arizona for their annual trip to the Apache Indian Reservation and outreaches to the children's home in Tucson to do the Festival of Hope.

While there they performed at three churches and various locations in Arizona.

Kelly Utterback and Morgan Cummings made up the dance troupe this year.

"I am so thrilled about the wonderful trip we have just had but just as excited about the great things we hope to accomplish right her in Paris, our own community" explained Fessant.

She noted they will be sponsoring a dinner sometime this fall to support the Christmas for Kids program which is held every December.

"Last year we supplied over 520 children here in Edgar County with Christmas," she announced.  "We have a lot to do to bring that about again this year."

She encouraged everyone to help support the important program.

Upcoming events include a free Dance Camp for all girls first grade through eighth which will be held July 20 to the 24th with a performance to take place on July 26.

For more information contact the HIS Ministry Office at 466-9825 or write HIS Ministry, P.O.Box 1025, Paris, IL 61944.