Victoria Hearst is a born again Christian who in 2001 was led to start Praise Him Ministries, a move she says was definitely God’s idea. With her passion for singing and acting, Hearst was on her own path until she realized that God had a different plan in store for her. She purchased and renovated a building in Ridgeway, Colo. and turned that into a Christian bookstore. She also opened a youth center for kids. “I wanted to create a place where kids could go. The Lord and I prayed over the building of the youth center,” she said.Her dream became a reality and her ministry was formed. Every year Praise Him Ministries has an annual festival called Night Vision, the title of which is to be a reminder for Christians to see the enemy, but to also see the light through the darkness. Night Vision is an annual music festival featuring Christian bands and artists performing along with evangelists spreading the word of God. The festival this year will be coming to Washington, D.C. on the grounds of the Washington Monument, 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., July 12. This is the festival’s 10th year, but the first time coming to Washington, DC.
The Rev. John Peyton from Reconciliation Comunity Church in Manassas, Va., a friend of Hearst, suggested they bring the festival from Colorado to the nation’s capital. He believed that bringing Night Vision to the East Coast could be a blessing to many individuals. “It’s time for kids in the cities to enjoy the festival,” said Rev. Peyton. “It’s an opportunity for kids from Baltimore and the surrounding suburbs to enjoy Night Vision.” He also added that this is an opportunity to truly understand God’s meaning and purpose. “The whole idea is that Jesus loves you. Christians should be about giving and not always begging,” Rev. Peyton said, adding that they’ll be awarding college scholarships to more than 100 students.
Night Vision will be a free event where the message that ‘Jesus Loves You” is shared. In the morning on the Sylvan Stage there will be college scholarship giveaways, father and children reunions and local band performances. In the evening on the main stage bands such as Mercy Me and Salvador will perform along with gospel artist Rev. Donnie McClurkin and Rev. Peyton will evangelize.
In exclusive interviews with the AFRO, Nathan Cochran from Mercy Me and Rev. McClurkin shared the excitement of performing on Night Vision and what viewers should expect. Cochran said Mercy Me has a passion for Christian music and that their songs stem from direct experiences that have made an impact on others’ lives. He said they do not get to play in the DMV area a lot so he is excited for the opportunity. “We’re looking forward to being there with other artists,” said Cochran. “We are leaning heavily on our new record “Welcome to the New” .”
Rev. McClurkin said he is excited to come on board and work with Praise Him Ministries, because ultimately he would like to see worship become less segregated. “When I met Victoria and she asked me to come on it was an immediate yes.” “I liked the idea of urban gospel and contemporary gospel coming together.” He added that the audience should expect his quintessential gospel ballads along with high jubilations. “I like to portray that God is really global this God we serve is everybody’s God.”
Hearst’s ministry focus is about spreading that Jesus loves everyone. “No matter what goes on Jesus loves you,” she said. “We are here to convey that message. When you have a personal relationship with Jesus it is a lot easier than fighting the battle on your own.”