WARREN - It was mutual feedback Friday at Packard Music Hall during the Gospel Music Concert.
The performers for the three acts said it is the fans who keep them performing and ministering, while the fans answered back that they were the ones who benefited more.
Three gospel acts played at the music hall, one of several events being held this year to help mark the 200th anniversary of publishing by the Tribune Chronicle.
Friday at the Packard Music Hall in Warren.
Before the show, some fans got to meet the performers, including the Keelings of Hadley, Pa., the Stevens family of Howland and national artists Jeff and Sheri Easter.
Randy Keeling said he and his family love to talk to fans because it's a good way to learn how they connect with them, which is encouraging to the group.
''It's a great feeling,'' Keeling said. ''We don't want to be hidden. We like the transparency, so they can see we're real and we're human.''
Tribune Chronicle / R. Michael Semple
Lou Skaggs of Howland, right, greets gospel artist Sheri Easter before the start of the gospel concert Friday at the Packard Music Hall in Warren.
Rich Stevens, who was performing with his wife, Tami, and daughter Erin, said it is important to get the know the people their music is ministering to.
''If we only sing and leave, there's no point to this,'' Stevens said.
He was especially glad to be singing at the music hall in his hometown.
''It's like the Radio City Music Hall of Northeast Ohio,'' Stevens said. ''It's a privilege and an honor to be a part of this.''
Sheri Easter said she loves to hear stories from fans who say they relied on their music to get them through a tough time. That gives her and her husband even more incentive when they perform, she said. Especially gratifying is hearing about the songs because she said the group puts a lot of effort to making sure they pick the right songs for an album.
''You're able to hear the incredible feedback,'' Easter said. ''It's really humbling. It's very flattering, because we put so much work into a song.''
Fans also said they wanted to meet the artists who help inspire them. Sherry Jacobs of Howland said she used to sing in her church and she is a big fan of the Easters.
''I like the old hymns. They bring that back,'' Jacobs said of the Easters. ''It's just very heartfelt. You can tell they're singing for the Lord. It's a blessing.''
Ross and Nancy Bauer of Franklin, Pa., made the trip to see the Keelings, who are their friends. They said they like to see an entire family banding together to sing a song.
''We've always enjoyed their closeness as a family,'' Nancy Bauer said. ''That's a blessing in itself.''
Bob Wilmouth of Warren said he was there because he had seen the Gaithers on television and he likes southern gospel music. LaVerne Dietzel of Youngstown said she also has seen the Easters on television but she is also a big fan of the Keelings, especially because she likes Randy Keeling's testimony of how he came to know Jesus.
''They're all family and they stay together,'' Dietzel said of the Keelings.