On Friday and Saturday, January 29 and 30 several members of FBC’s Sanctuary Choir participated in Festival by the Sea, a choral festival held at the historic First Baptist Church of Charleston, South Carolina. Over 300 singers from twenty churches spanning Presbyterian, Methodist and Baptist denominations rehearsed and presented a final worship/concert on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday, January 31, these FBC choir members were so happy to join Bill Stanfield as he preached at St. Matthew Baptist Church in North Charleston on Stand Up Sunday. This was a special day for South Carolina churches as over a thousand congregations synchronized their hearts, voices and feet to honor victims of gun violence. We enjoyed a powerful and freeing service of worship as we sang together and separately. — Terri Vancil
The entire Festival by the Sea choir retreat was so stimulating and inspiring to me. As a new member of the choir and church, it gave me a wonderful opportunity to bond through singing, learning, and listening in such a beautiful setting of Charleston, SC. The highlight for me was a most thought provoking sermon that your own born and raised Rev. Bill Stanfield delivered on Sunday morning! It is my prayer that all FBC members will have an opportunity to read his message. I loved singing with the St Matthew Baptist Choir, “O Happy Day.” It will remain in my positive thoughts memory book forever! Also loved getting to know choir members and directors in a more relaxed setting… — Betty Morgan
“How Can I Keep From Singing?”
Festival by the Sea was such a fun, rewarding weekend for me. I was inspired by the love of so many people-
- Fellow church members and staff who placed each other before themselves, showing God’s unconditional love.
- Singing Christians from Texas, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and South Carolina with one purpose in mind – to proclaim God’s love through song.
- Members of St. Matthew Baptist Church who welcomed us with loads of love and hugs.
- Bill Stanfield’s little adopted boys from Ethiopia, Agegnehu and Kibru, who seemed pleased to see people from their Grandma Jean’s church.
- Bill Stanfield’s welcome and inspiring message. His sermon rang true with the thought that “God is more concerned with reconciliation than rightness.” He went on to say that we as Christians must “be willing to let go of our walls and boundaries and our selfish divisions in favor of more expansive love for all people.” How beautiful!
“How can I keep from singing – since Love is Lord of heav’n and earth?” — Becky Yaun