Back to School benefit concert featuring the Dill Pickers to raise funds for Urban Kids program


On Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011, Urban Ministry is hosting a "Back to School with Urban Kids benefit concert Featuring the Dill Pickers.” The concert will be at 3 p.m. at Birmingham First UMC (518 19th St. N Birmingham). All proceeds of the fundraiser will go to the Urban Kids program of Urban Ministry.

Urban Kids has been in existence since the late 1980s. Currently the program offers an After-School program four days a week and a seven-week Summer Day Camp. Each year, 30 3rd-8th grade children and youth are enrolled. All programs are offered free of charge to students in the West End neighborhood of Birmingham. Approximately 100% of the students come from families living at or below the poverty line. The ministry also serves the students’ families through Urban Ministry’s compassion and wholeness programs and the Festival of Three Kings Christmas program.

Urban Kids employs one full-time director, Dorothiann McCray; three part-time staff assistants, Gary, Larry and Evanne; and more than 100 faithful adult and student volunteers, including Birmingham-Southern College Education students.

The mission of the Urban Kids program is “Helping Birmingham youth grow through academic support, healthy living, creative arts, and character development.”

The Urban Ministry website notes the following celebrations of students accomplishments and program achievements.

Recent student accomplishments

  • Nine of our students are in advanced classes
  • Students have won competitions in essay writing, science, math, and video production
  • Six kids have been admitted to schools with accelerated academic programs
  • Students have received numerous academic and citizenship awards

Program achievements

  • No school suspensions in the past year
  • No students in the juvenile system
  • Significant improvements in grade averages
  • Successful matriculation of every student
  • Significant increase in conflict resolution through non-violent, respectful interaction

Urban Ministry is an Advance Special ministry of the North Alabama Conference.

THE DILL PICKERS are a vocal string band based in Birmingham, Alabama. They have been performing together in concerts and theatrical productions since 1999. Performing gospel, bluegrass, folk, country and old time string band as well as many original songs, THE DILL PICKERS accompany themselves with a wide range of instruments including banjo, guitar, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, harmonica, piano, strum stick and spoons.

Band members are Norton Dill, Stewart Jackson, Theresa McKibben, W. Scott Stewart, Kneeland Wright and Lesli Wright.

Tickets are $10 each or $30 for a family of three or more. Tickets may be purchased in advance at or you may pay at the door.

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