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After his church was damaged in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, costing him $20,000 in musical equipment, Chris Driesbach has performed free concerts for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod volunteers who helped. He will perform on Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Alexandria. (Contributed)

Christian musician offers free concert of thanks

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Christian singer/songwriter Chris Driesbach, who lost about $20,000 worth of musical equipment in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, will present his story and a free concert.

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It will be held Friday, June 13 at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 805 Rosewood Lane, Alexandria.

The flood damaged Crown of Life Lutheran Church, as well as Driesbach’s condominium miles away, but then, “The most amazing thing happened,” Driesbach said.

Word spread to the church body, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), and 10,000 people sent donations to the Committee on Relief. The effort raised more than $2.1 million.

Driesbach said that 1,300 WELS volunteers came to New Orleans over the next two and a half years, and Crown of Life’s four buildings were “beautifully rebuilt.”

In the aftermath of Katrina, with a new guitar and keyboard, Driesbach performed a concert for the volunteers, who also helped restore the homes of 41 church members.

Their encouragement led Driesbach to begin touring as a Christian singer/songwriter in what he calls his “never-ending tour for Jesus.”

He contacts WELS churches, offering to perform a free thank you concert. He will have copies of his six CDs for sale, and a free will offering will be accepted.

“I’m just a guy who goes around singing in churches, and I’m having the time of my life,” Driesbach said. “I feel like I have an important message for people who maybe don’t have faith.”

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