In 1993, James Yoder and his singing group, Witness, began what has become an annual event attended by people who love and enjoy Gospel music in Country, Bluegrass and Southern Gospel styles. It began as an annual Witness Homecoming event. After Witness dissolved, it became known as The Kalona Gospel Sing. At the 15th anniversary of the event Witness was reassembled for another series of performances at the Kalona Gospel Sing. It was greatly enjoyed by everyone, especially those who knew and loved Witness.
It is now an annual event for singing groups and people from many different walks of life to get together and spend three wonderful days singing songs of praise and glory to our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some variations of the group lineup from year to year. This allows new groups the chance to minister at this great event, and allows the crowd the opportunity to experience the music of new groups they may never have heard before. For many people, it has become an annual event that they don’t want to miss.
There are a cappella groups, groups that use live instrumentation, and groups that sing with sound tracks. There are enough different styles of music that you will not be disappointed you came. The sing often includes groups that come from Missouri, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Minnesota and Illinois, as well as Iowa.
The sing is located at the Windmill Ridge Campgrounds, and it’s an absolutely beautiful place for a Gospel sing. It has a natural outdoor amphitheater feel to it. There are plenty of camping spots for both modern and primitive camping. Evenings are normally perfect times to hear the music ringing in the trees and echoing across the whole campground. To be able to camp and listen to the very best in Gospel music makes it an unforgettable experience. There is no permanent seating available, so be sure and bring your lawn chairs and pick your favorite spot on the hillside surrounding the stage.
James is still the primary promoter of this event, along with some help from a few of the local groups that participate each year. He is also the premier sound man for the sing, as well as many other Gospel singing events in the Midwest.