Rally to feature former offensive tackle Jon Kolb

LEWISTOWN – The United Methodist Men are gearing up for their 60th annual rally, which welcomes men, women and children of all ages.

Historically, the rally brought men together and spread the message of Christ to the public, said event organizers Kraig Kratzer and Tom Heckman. But the interdenominational event now is open to the entire community.

“It’s not just for Methodists … it’s not just for men, either,” Kratzer said.

The rally is held annually at First United Methodist Church in Lewistown and has featured guest speakers including Jerry Dunn, former head coach of the Penn State Men’s Basketball team; Jimmy Carter, 39th president of the United States; Jackie Robinson, American baseball player; and Tony Campolo, former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton.

This year, the rally will feature Jon Kolb, a former Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle and Super Bowl IX, X, XIII and XIV champion. A poster created for the rally states that Kolb is one of nine Steelers to play in all four Super Bowls won in the 1970s. He was named to the All Time Greatest Steelers Team in 2007, the poster states.

Kratzer said Kolb will speak at the event about integrity.

The 60th annual rally will kick off with a turkey dinner from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. April 4 at First United Methodist Church in Lewistown. Cost for the meal is $4 for children ages 6 and under and $8 for adults. To reserve seats, call 248-4618 by March 30.

The rally itself is free to attend and is set to begin with singing at 6:30 p.m. Kolb will speak after the music.

Heckman said the church once welcomed crowds of hundreds of guests, but the rally has seen smaller gatherings in the past three years. Event organizers are hoping to grow the event back to its original size, they said, and provide an uplifting evening for people traveling from all over the state.

“We’re here to reach out to people … bring people to Christ,” Heckman said. “We’re here to reach the churched and unchurched. That’s our mission in life.”