As if prayers have finally been answered, downtown Myrtle Beach has received a makeover and the new boardwalk and Sky Wheel are only part of the new-look landscape this summer.
Beginning Sunday, the former oceanfront site of the Pavilion will play host to a free, weekly series of summer concerts featuring some of the top names in Christian music.
Two groups, Downtown Ministries and Ground Zero Ministries, have come together to organize these Sunday Celebrations, which will continue through Labor Day. The events will feature nationally-known musical acts headlining each week, along with spiritual testimonies from various speakers and activities for the whole family including volley ball and inflatable fun houses for kids.
"We really just wanted to create a positive family atmosphere. We wanted to book bands that really anybody can enjoy, even the people just walking by,” said Ground Zero founder and Executive Director Scott Payseur.
The free concerts start at 6 pm every Sunday evening. A local praise band will open each concert, followed by a speaker and the main act. Attendees are invited to bring their own lawn chairs and coolers, but alcoholic beverages will not be permitted.
The series’ first concert will feature not one, but three national acts. Pop singer Britt Nicole will headline accompanied by fellow N.C.-bred pop group Royal Tailor and illusionist Brock Gill.
Other acts scheduled to perform this summer include hip-hop artists KJ-52 and Group 1 Crew, pop punk group Stellar Kart, Contemporary Christian acts Tenth Avenue North Big Daddy Weave and Sidewalk Prophets, and popular rock bands Kutless and Building 429.
Ground Zero, an outreach ministry focused on reaching teenagers was originally, started in Tennessee in 1998 before relocating to Myrtle Beach in 2006. Since that time it has started campus ministry programs in eight different public schools and organized a variety of events to bring teens closer to Christ.
All FREE events begin at 6 p.m. oceanfront at the former Pavilion site. Schedule subject to change, more to be announced at later date:
- May 29 | Britt Nicole, Brock Gill, Royal Tailor
- June 5 | KJ-52
- June 19 | Tenth Avenue North
- June 26 | Seventh Day Slumber
- July 3 | Kutless & Group 1 Crew
- July 10 | Big Daddy Weave
- July 17 | Building 429
- July 24 | Sidewalk Prophets
“Our focus is to reach teenagers for Jesus Christ,” said Payseur.
Through these summer concerts, the organization hopes to provide positive entertainment for people of any faith.
“[These events are] positive for the business owners, positive for the city. For anybody to feel they have a home in the heart of Myrtle Beach,” Payseur said.
With the start of the Sunday Celebrations concert series, Ground Zero is excited for the future.
“We’ve always wanted to do something in the [downtown] area,” said Payseur, “Someone with the funds finally approached us. So far it’s turning out even bigger than we imagined.”
The organization also has plans to build a teen center in downtown.
After sampling three prospective sites, the group is now looking to build the center in the old Rivoli Theater at 908 Chester St. near the Pavilion parking garage.
By building at this historic spot Ground Zero hopes to contribute to the continued revitalization of the downtown area.
“There’s a perception of downtown that we realize people have concerns about, but people who haven’t been down there in a while don’t realize how much it is turning around. It’s looking great,” Payseur said.
Alex Muller attends Winthrop University as an English major and Music minor. He plays acoustic music under the name This is For My Friends, and is scheduled to release his second album, “To Call This a Home,” on July 15 at Fresh Brewed Coffee House.