Thumbpickers Convention Returning Nov 12-13 at New Statesville Site | Local News

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Clay Lunsford, right, of NC Thumbpickers, met Grover Crosswhite, left, Renee Griffith and her daughter, Cadence, to plan this year’s event at Cornerstone Church.


Donna Swicegood, Record & Landmark


Donna Swicegood

After bouncing around for several years trying to find the perfect venue for the annual convention, Clay Lunsford of North Carolina Thumbpickers thinks he has found it.

This year’s convention will be held at the new Cornerstone Church Sanctuary, 650 Glover St., Statesville.

“It’s just a wonderful facility,” said Lunsford.

This is the 22nd year of the Thumbpickers convention in Statesville, Lunsford said. Last year, as with many other events, the convention was canceled due to COVID. But with security protocols in place, Lunsford said, the convention will be held Nov. 12-13.

Thumb picking, also known as thumb and finger style picking, has been made popular by musicians such as Merle Haggard and Chet Atkins.

Lunsford said the inch pickers convention had called several places home over the past two decades, but it was difficult to find the right place with the right acoustics and other amenities. So when he heard about the newly built shrine at Cornerstone, he decided to take a look.

And he found that Renee Griffith, president of Cornerstone Christian Academy, adjacent to the church, was more than receptive to the idea.

“Let’s do it,” she said.

The shrine opened about a year ago, she said, and can seat between 300 and 400 depending on the seating configuration.

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