This season's third and final Glenn's Worship on the River will come to a crescendo at 7 p.m. on Aug. 16 at the Owensboro RiverPark Center.

Along with a community choir with members representing 18 churches, the event will feature two guest speakers -- Dr. Jim Tidwell and 17-year-old Grant Oller.

Cathy Mullins, Worship on the River's event developer, said it's been "inspiring" to watch all of the churches come together to sing contemporary-style Christian music.

"These are all volunteer musicians and worship leaders from across the community," Mullins said.

This is the second year for Worship on the Water. However, last year there was only one show but its success led to adding three dates this year.

Mullins said last year's event occurred around the time Tidwell suffered his accident on Aug. 4 at an end-of-summer party. Tidwell was playing on a Slip N Slide that stretched into a pond. When he went into the water, he hit his head.

"Dr. Tidwell just had his accident and one of our team members said, 'Can we take a moment and pray for him during the concert?' And so we did."

Tidwell, 43, spent nearly three months in the hospital but he's now a quadriplegic as a result of the injury.

For Tidwell, this will be the first time he's spoken to a large audience about his accident.

"I guess the reason why I said yes is that I felt like it would give me the opportunity to really express my gratitude to anyone who might show up," Tidwell said. "To be honest, I feel such a debt to this community for the way they supported my family while I was in the hospital."

Oller will be speaking as well about his bout with pneumonia, which almost cost him his life, that began in late September 2018.

The Daviess County High School senior said he wasn't feeling well and was initially admitted into Owensboro Health Regional Hospital.

"I thought I would just be a couple of days there and just recovering as a casual pneumonia case," Oller said.

However, his condition worsened and he was transferred to Norton Children's Hospital in Louisville.

Once there, he was sedated and placed on a machine that cleansed his blood.

Oller would remain in that state through October and had no recollection of that time.

"I woke up in early November and that's when the first memories of being in the hospital started," he said.

Oller was released from the hospital on Nov. 28 and then spent time in rehab to regain his strength.

Along with starting his senior year at DCHS, he's also preparing to return to play baseball for the Panthers.

As Christians, Tidwell and Oller said their faith has only been reinforced through their experiences.

"Even when you think you hit rock bottom; things just are going right or the worst possible situation could happen, I think turning to God and putting your faith in Him can really strengthen you," Oller said.

Tidwell said he wants to share his faith and how it's helped him since his accident.

"The injury has taught me new lessons that I maybe couldn't have learned in my life prior to quadriplegia," Tidwell said. "…Certainly, one of those is humility and allowing myself to rely on others as well as God."

Don Wilkins, dwilkins@messenger-inquirer.com, 270-691-7299

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