Smithfield Herald

June 16, 2014

Inaugural Rock the Block set for Saturday on Town Square

A new one-day festival will debut in downtown Clayton on Saturday, one event organizer Jeff Gray says isn’t about promoting his church but promoting the Lord.

A one-day festival that aims to promote the Lord will debut Saturday in downtown Clayton.

The inaugural Rock the Block, scheduled from 2 to 9 p.m. on Town Square, will feature Christian music, testimonials and guest speakers.

Jeff Gray helped organize the event through his church, Crossroads Church in Clayton. “We are trying to offer hope to people in hopeless situations,” he said.

As a former drug addict, Gray said, he knows what it’s like to hit rock bottom. In July 2008, after smoking crack cocaine for 15 years, he found himself homeless and willing to do anything to get by. He remembers police questioning him at the home of a guy he didn’t even know. The officers didn’t arrest him, but the close call motivated Gray to make a change.

“I got down on my knees that night and said, ‘Lord, I need some help,’ ” he recalled.

The next day, Gray went to more than 15 churches in the area to ask for help. He wanted to enter a Teen Challenge facility. The faith-based nonprofit provides a network of drug- and alcohol-recovery centers across the nation. Gray didn’t have much luck until he knocked on the door at Crossroads Church, which paid for him to enter the rehabilitation program.

Gray is among the speakers scheduled to share their testimonials at Rock the Block.

“Hopefully my life story will offer hope to somebody else,” he said.

Teen Challenge representatives will be on site at Rock the Block, in addition to staff from iChoose Pregnancy Support Services.

During the event, Fayetteville Street will be closed from Main Street to Second Street. Admission is free, and food will be available.

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