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Christian artist Lincoln Brewster to perform at Merced County Fair

Lincoln Brewster, a former Modesto resident and Christian songwriter who played lead guitar for Steve Perry of Journey, will perform at the Merced County Fair.

Brewster will perform Opening Day, Wednesday, June 15, Mercy Medical Center Seniors' Day, in the fairgrounds’ Outdoor Theatre.

Brewster's hit songs include "Today Is The Day," "God You Reign," "Everlasting God," "Salvation Is Here" and "The Power of Your Name."

The artist walked away from a promising mainstream music career and his new path takes him to venues all over the U.S. At 39, he is the worship pastor at Bayside Church in Granite Bay, near Roseville, where he recently marked his 10th anniversary with the church.

The fair is Wednesday, June 15 through Sunday, June 19. Each night a headline entertainment act will appear at 8:30 p.m. in the Outdoor Theatre, where all concerts are free with admission.

Brewster is a big influence in shaping today's modern worship music. "Reaching for You," the single from his current CD, "Real Life," continues get a lot of airplay. The album, his seventh, includes several songs that reveal his sometimes painful childhood, growing up in the small fishing village of Homer, Alaska. He and his mother sought escape from his stepfather's violent behavior and alcohol abuse through music. "My mom loved music and played with local bands," he said. "She was the one who inspired my love for singing and playing instruments." Brewster was playing drums, mandolin and guitar by the age of 7, entertaining cruise ship passengers who came ashore in Homer, and had his own band by the age of 12.

He moved to California at 15, and played in the jazz and marching bands at Grace Davis High School in Modesto, where he graduated in 1989.

His incredible guitar skills grabbed the attention of mainstream music labels and by the age of 19 he landed a recording contract. Brewster played lead guitar for rocker Steve Perry and toured with him from 1994-95. But he left mainstream music and took a job as a youth worship leader and music director at a Modesto church. He and his wife, Laura, his high school sweetheart, moved to Nashville in 1997 to serve as youth pastors and music ministers at a church there. He signed with a faith-based record label and began recording his own music. In 2001, the couple returned to California to take the position at Bayside Church.