Church choir celebrates choir directors

Church choir celebrates choir directors
July 20
05:00 2017

The Inspirational Choir at Mount Zion Baptist Church has been around for four decades.  On Sunday, July 16, members celebrated their 40th anniversary with a concert that highlighted the history of the choir and their directors over the years.

The show was cleverly laid out.  Instead of just singing various songs, they decided to sing songs that were related to the four different choir directors they have had over the years. 

St. James United Methodist Church Praise Team kicked off the event with beautiful selections before the show.  Current choir director, Dionn Owen, says they chose to lay out the concert in that fashion to show how the choir has progressed over the years.

“The planning committee wanted to do something to celebrate each choir director because we all have our own styles,” Owen said.  “I thought it was a great idea to go from the inception of the choir to the present.”

Chandra Squire Graham, longtime member of Mount Zion, served as emcee for the event.  She says she was just a little girl when the choir was formed and has enjoyed seeing how far the choir has come over the years.

“I think today was wonderful because it turned out the way they wanted it to be,” she said.  “They celebrated each era, which was a beautiful tribute.  Being in the industry, I have seen a lot and this was very special to me.”

“I remember when my mother was on the choir and it would be as little as 15 people to show up,” she continued.  “The progression has been wonderful.  Since Dr. Churn came, the church has grown so much.”

Former choir director Dyna McGriff was also in attendance and she led the choir during the singing of her era.  Before she took center stage, she thanked the church and the choir for their work and dedication over the years.  The deceased members of the choir were honored for their service as well.

Dr. Serenus T. Churn Sr., senior pastor of Mt. Zion, was delighted with how the show turned out.  He sat in the back of the fellowship hall while the choir sang.  He says it’s a great feeling to just sit back and enjoy the worship once in a while.

“I think that this was a spectacular anniversary because it was so beautiful in the way they consciously blended the old and the new,” he said.  “They captured the traditional gospel and the more contemporary.  That was intentionally done with such love and care, I was just thrilled by it and extremely proud of them.”

Churn says over the years he has seen the choir grow in numbers and talent.  He said the choir is a very dedicated group to the church and give it their all every time they sing.

“If you would ever stop by on a Tuesday evening during one of their rehearsals, you would think church was going on,” said Churn.  “They mean what they sing and it’s reflected in the quality of service that they render.”

Owen said everything came together as they envisioned while planning the concert.  He says he thanks God for everything that has come his way thus far in his career. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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