A special benefit featuring Gospel music performances and a silent auction will be held at Eastside Free Will Baptist Church on April 15 in support of Melanie Slone.

Slone, who lost her husband Steve to cancer around Christmas 2022 and then her home to a fire on March 4, has been struggling and is in need of support, according to neighbor and fellow church member Waylon Bayes.

"Steve was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer about a year and a half ago and then passed away right around Christmas," Bayes said.

According to Bayes, Melanie's loss only created more strain as she began struggling financially after her husband's passing, and losing her home on top of it all is truly devastating.

"She had just got home from church and found her home had completely burnt down,” Bayes said. “They lost everything. They have no insurance on the home. So we got a few churches together and put together this benefit event.”

The Slone Family Benefit, which begins at 4 p.m., will feature musical performances from acts like From the Heart, Ronnie Spriggs, Little Paint Quartet, and others. Concessions and a silent auction, where attendees can win items like furniture, wreaths, jewelry baskets, gift cards, and more, will also be available.

Bayes said no one deserves this benefit more than Melanie, and he and his family are honored to show their support for the Slone family in this trying moment for them.

"Melanie has incredible faith," Bayes said. "Even though she had just lost her home, she was right back at church that night to worship God. She has the strongest faith of probably any person I've ever met. Most people would want to falter in that moment. They didn't have any different clothes to wear and went to church that night still smelling like smoke."

According to Bayes, the goal is to help Melanie and her family get back on their feet by helping them get a new home.

"We want them to have a new home. They own the property, so if we can just get them a home and put it there, that would be amazing," Bayes said.

Eastside Free Will Baptist is located at 6100 Main Street, Thelma. For more information on how to donate to contribute to the event can contact Waylon Bayes on Facebook or directly at, (606) 367-4797.