By LINDA M. LINONIS
Some 3,500 wristbands for admittance to the fifth annual Men’s Rally in the Valley this weekend at the Covelli Centre have been sold, reported Bob Weber, rally press secretary.
Weber said that number already has passed the 3,000 who attended last year.
“People tend to wait to the last minute,” Weber said. “We’re still hoping for a sellout in the last few days before the rally.” A sellout would be 7,000 tickets.
The big drawing card this year is Phil Robertson, head of the family and founder of Duck Commander Co. He will be the featured speaker and will be introduced by his son, Alan, who was in the ministry. The family patriarch of “Duck Dynasty” will speak at 3 p.m. on the topic, “No Compromise, No Retreat.”
His talk relates to the overall theme of the rally, “No Compromise ... No Retreat ... Standing on the Truth” from the Book of Daniel.
The Men’s Rally also will feature a 300-man choir, drawn from the Men of Faith group.
Weber said 2014 also will mark cross-walkers coming from three directions — North, East and West — all about 18 miles from Youngstown. Next year, the 2015 cross walkers will add the last direction, South. The cross walkers coming from the four directions, Weber said, will complete the cross.
New this year, Weber said, will be live streaming of the rally on the Internet, except for Robertson’s talk.
Walter “Bing” Newton, coordinator of Jesus “The Key” Ministry and retired Salem High School teacher and track coach, is lead organizer.
Newton and his wife, Peggy, attended a service Sept. 15, 2013, at White Smith Ferry Church in West Monroe, La., and met the Robertson family. They also visited the Duck Commander store there.
Newton said he and his wife read Robertson’s book, “Happy, Happy, Happy.” “I followed God’s direction,” Newton said of what motivated him to visit West Monroe and ask Robertson to speak at the Men’s Rally.