CRASH SURVIVOR TO SING AT FAITH
A man who survived a plane crash in the Bering Sea in the early 1990s will share his singing talents at a La Grande church Monday.
Don Wharton's concert will begin at 7 p.m. at Faith Lutheran Church. Wharton's uplifting music has inspired thousands of people in more than 2,500 concerts over the past 23 years.
On Aug. 13, 1993, Wharton was one of seven people who survived the crash of a twin-engine plane into the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska.
The team was returning from a missionary-humanitarian aid trip to eastern Russia when the crash occurred.
Wharton and the others credit God for the fact they were rescued.
"There were too many variables that fell into place," said one of the rescuers, Terry Day, a Bering Air pilot. "Call it divine intervention."
In his concerts, Wharton shares with audiences about the freedom that comes from experiencing the grace of God and warns of the consequences of disobeying God's law.
The musician includes secular songs as part of his repertoire, but his message is always that Christ is the answer to man's problems.
Songs Wharton has composed have been recorded by southern gospel groups including the Speers and the Lesters.
He has opened for such Christian artists as Carman, Michael Card, Jessie Dixon and Don Francisco.
Wharton performed at the first gospel concert at the Pentagon near Washington, D.C., on Sept. 29, 1998.
He's also worked with 1960s recording artists Paul and Paula and actor Beau Bridges.
His concerts provide an entertaining mix of melodies, stories and humor. Audiences will run the gamut between laughing and crying as Wharton weaves poetic stories and paints melodic pictures, his publicist said.
At the heart of his message is the simplicity of peace in Christ.
One of Wharton's latest recordings, "A Sign for the Times," contains 12 original Wharton compositions which span the spectrum of styles from contemporary to worship and praise and from country to ballads.
Refreshments will be served after the concert. Faith Lutheran is at 12th Street and Gekeler Lane, across from the Short Stop.