The Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing Story

In 1998, a group of Christian volunteers came together with a goal of bringing the best in Christian music events to the Lake of the Ozarks.  After a year of planning, the first festival was held at Stoneridge Amphitheater in Camdenton, Missouri in June of 1999.  It was called Cross-Over and included both contemporary and Southern Gospel Music.  

That first year, Southern Gospel fans were treated to performances by the Dixie Melody Boys, the Martins, Gold City, Mark Lowery and Anthony Burger, Janet Pascal, The Lesters, Ernie Haase and a special appearance by George Younce.

Following the second year, with the same format, the volunteers agreed that they had actually created two festivals in one and immediately began to make plans to present two separate festivals in 2001.  With advice from Brian Lester, the Southern Gospel event took on the name, The Great Lake of the Ozarks Gospel Sing and was moved to Main Street Music Hall in Osage Beach.  Cross-Over became a contemporary event and has remained at Stoneridge Amphitheater.

Throughout the years, our goal has never changed.  We have remained committed to bringing the best in Christian music (Southern Gospel style) to the Lake of the Ozarks – and to do it at the most affordable prices possible.  One of the ways we’ve been able to do this is that all who work in producing the Gospel Sing are volunteers, each, giving of their time totally free of charge.

The growth of the Gospel Sing can be attributed to a number of things:  1) the kind words of those who attend each year and share their experiences with their friends back home; 2) the advertising and special articles that have been placed in Singing News Magazine; 3) the support of our friends, The Lesters, who offer us booth space at their Annual Fall Festival at Meramec Caverns; 4) the similar support we receive from our friend, Duane Garren, who provides us with booth space at the Annual Brumley Sing.

There are two local organizations that also deserve recognition here.  They are The Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitor Bureau and The Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association.  Both of these organizations poured thousands of dollars into the Gospel Sing in the beginning years, sustaining us until our attendance grew to the point that we could pay our own way.  Our first “break even year” was 2007.  We, now, feel comfortable that we are in a good position to sustain ourselves, and we will be forever grateful to them for the support they have given.  (They continue their support, even today, through advertising and the creation and maintenance of this website at no charge.)