Advent Lutheran Church in Conway will host the 14th annual Advent Café, scheduled for Friday, benefit concert for Bethlehem House, a transition shelter for the homeless in Faulkner County.  

This event will also be a tribute to Conway folk singer, songwriter and storyteller Faril Simpson, who passed away Oct. 11. The goal for this year’s concert is to raise $1,600, which will be matched by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, for a total donation of $3,200 to Bethlehem House. The concert will be at Advent Lutheran Church, 900 Farris Road in Conway. Doors open at 7 p.m., with music beginning around 7:15 p.m.

Advent Café and Thrivent have raised nearly $52,000 since 1997 for local charities. Performers at this year’s concert will be Ashley Fleener; Carlos Summers and Doug Burton; John Murphy; The Boomers; Happenstance; Kat Hood-Glisich, Chuck Gilbert and David Seago; and Buddy Case. Each act will perform three songs. Their music is acoustic based and covers a wide variety of genres including country, folk, rock, pop, and blues.

Faril Simpson performed at this event the past 13 years, according to Gary Roberts, Advent Café organizer. He said, "Faril was loved by musicians and audience members alike. He connected with his singing and storytelling. Faril wrote over 100 songs, and when he performed he’d share a brief history about each song. His stories made you laugh and he often involved audience members in sing-alongs. He was a great entertainer. Faril is considered a legend in singer/songwriter circles in central Arkansas."

Admission for Advent Café is $7 for adults, $5 for students with children 12 and under admitted free. Coffee and desserts will be sold with all door and refreshment proceeds to benefit the Bethlehem House. Individuals who wish to donate may send a check payable to Advent Lutheran Church in c/o Gary Roberts, 53 Caddo Drive, Conway, Ark., 72032. Those writing a check ared asked to indicate the amount is for Bethlehem House in the memo line. 

For information, contact Gary Roberts at 501-450-3416 or garyr@uca.edu, or go to the Advent Café Facebook page. The public is invited.