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June 30th, 2009

Patriotic Celebration kicks off July 4th holiday

There weren’t any cannons fired or sparklers lit, but yesterday, an estimated 700 Brentwood Baptist members and those from around the community gathered in the Worship Center to commemorate the upcoming holiday.

Hosted by the Brentwood Baptist Orchestra and Good News Singers, Brentwood Baptist’s 55+ Adult Choir, the one-hour free concert celebrated our freedom, honored our military men and women, and sparked pride in the hearts of the Americans who attended.

Originally planned to take place in a park and then later in Hudson Hall, the concert outgrew the expectations of those planning it. Finally, it landed in the Worship Center, large enough to seat the hundreds in attendance.

Dr. Tom McMinn, one of the planners behind the event, said, "It was a God-thing. We were thinking a few of the good ol' secular songs in the park during the summer, but I don't think God wanted that. When we started planning, people started coming forward saying they wanted to help in some way. I just sat back and wherever it went, I went. It just grew from there."

The concert featured the Belles, Golden Heirs, honor guard, Children’s Choir, and others who joined the 107-member choir onstage in leading the concert. Several area churches including First Baptist Donelson, Clearview Baptist, Liberty Baptist, and The People's Church also joined alongside the Brentwood Baptist choir for the event.

Ten-year-old Barrett Patton, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and is a voice student through Brentwood Worshipping Arts Center, shined onstage and touched the hearts of worshippers at the event, singing “We the People” and reciting the Preamble to the Constitution.

In addition, several surprises were in store for the concert. Lee Greenwood, legendary country artist and Brentwood Baptist member, was one surprise featured musical guest singing his hit song, “God Bless the USA.”

"Lee joined the church two months ago and literally came up to Dennis Worley after the 11:00 a.m. service this past Sunday and asked if he could be of some help," McMinn said. "We moved some things around and got him in the program two hours before it began. God put this program together. It was beyond our expectations."

During the celebration, Gayle Haywood, Senior Adult and Prayer Minister, led the audience in a time of prayer. McMinn said, "It was devoted to praying for the leaders in our nation—the ones who are making decisions for us. I believe the one way that everyone can be active in our country is through prayer."

Dr. Gerald Stowe, Brentwood Baptist member and trustee, who sang with the Golden Heirs, said, “We are at a very low time in our nation—morally, spiritually, and economically. This is a really hard time. The emphasis [at the concert] was not just on country, but on God and country. It was a special time of prayer and praise calling us back to God.”

The theme of freedom ran throughout the entire program, reminding those in attendance of what is most important at this time in our country.

"Right now, everybody is picking up from the economy," McMinn said. "Every time you remind people of freedom and God, then it makes them more aware of the big picture and pulls something greater out of them. When our country began, we've fought for the choice to gather together, the choice to practice our beliefs—those are the choices we got. Because of that, we are able to freely receive and accept Christ and worship Him."