Trey Pearson on playing Joshua Fest: ‘Seeing the world change’

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Christian artist Trey Pearson of Everyday Sunday will perform at the 2016 Joshua Fest in Quincy, Calif. He believes that makes him the first openly gay artist to perform at a major Christian music festival. Photo courtesy of Trey Pearson

Christian artist Trey Pearson of Everyday Sunday will perform at the 2016 Joshua Fest in Quincy, Calif. He believes that makes him the first openly gay artist to perform at a major Christian music festival. Photo courtesy of Trey Pearson

(RNS) Gratitude.

That’s how Trey Pearson of Everyday Sunday described his feelings after announcing online he will perform at California’s Joshua Fest.

And that’s not just because Joshua Fest is a major Christian music festival, spanning three days of music, ministry and camping over Labor Day weekend at the Plumas County Fairgrounds in Quincy, Calif.

It’s because Pearson will be the first openly gay artist ever to play a major Christian music festival, by his reckoning.

The isn’t the first time Pearson has played Joshua Fest, and he told RNS in an email, “I love that they continued to love me, and want me to stand with them, and partner with them, to make an impact in people’s lives; even as I have come to this place in my own truth as a gay man.”

The performance comes just over two months after the lead singer of Everyday Sunday came out in a letter to his fans.

As RNS columnist Jonathan Merritt noted in May, that put Pearson at the center of a growing movement of popular Christian musicians who have come out as gay and are advocating for a more open and accepting posture in the church, including Ray Boltz, Anthony Williams, Jennifer Knapp and Vicky Beeching.

Merritt wrote:

These musicians paid a hefty price. Since Christian music fans tend to be conservative and believe that homosexual acts are sinful, you won’t hear these artists’ music played in most churches or on Christian radio these days.

And Pearson said he, too, had heard from others “no one in the faith-based music industry would have anything to do with me ever again.”

“I feel so humbled, honored, and excited to be a part of seeing the world change,” he added.

Other performers at this year’s Joshua Fest include Skillet, Switchfoot and Crowder.

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