POMEROY — Hard Rock music and Christian values may not seem to have much in common, except perhaps musical notes, but they do have one more substantive commonality: Andy Avery.
Avery performed last week at the Meigs County Fair and the Gallipolis City Park. He also made other specific appearances to speak and sing.
The Meigs County Prayer Task Force (MCPTF), a group from the Christian community that includes Mason, Gallia and Meigs counties, united to bring the rock performer turned evangelist singer to the tri-county area for these events to entertain but also enlighten. He once toured with Aerosmith and Journey even substituting for Steven Perry. He was also managed by Gene Simmons.
Now, Avery uses his talents to highlight his battle with drugs and how he overcame, and his story closely parallels the mission of the MCPTF.
Judge L. Scott Powell, one of its members, said, “Avery is a journey of hope.”
The MCPTF tries to combat the problems facing individuals and the community stemming from drug use. They pledge to proactively and reactively deal with the issues facing addicts and their families and commit to providing solutions for people ensnared in the cycle of drug abuse.
Jay Proffitt, who heard Avery speak and is a member of the MCPTF, described himself as, “one of the people tired of complaining and wanting to do something about [the drug problem].” He mentioned that Avery not only reinvented his own life but also empowers others to do the same through more than speaking and singing. He has created classroom programs teaching students about addiction, how to stay away from it, and how to break it. The states of Indiana and Illinois have adopted his programs for use in their state penitentiaries so drug users can break their addictions before they are released.
Avery’s story and programs also coincide with the MCPTF mission because both base their reasons for prayer and action on Christianity. When Avery went to prison, he found Jesus and said this enabled him to quit his addictions and build programs for others to do the same. Both believe in the power of God to change people, but also in the effects of assistance from all quarters: providence to government and government to family and friends.
Avery also stopped at some local jails, the Boy’s Home in Patriot, Ohio, and Lakin Correctional Facility in Mason County while in the area.