Selma Unity services to be held Sunday

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 13, 2003

If the past is any predictor of the future, attendance at Sunday’s Selma Community Unity service should be good.

Doug Coats, member of First Church of the Nazarene and one of the chief organizers of the service, expects more than the 400-500 worshipers who came to the mid-September service held at Brown Chapel AME Church.

Attendance at the services has been steadily increasing, he said.

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Sunday’s service begins at 6 p.m. at Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 1530 Lawrence St. According to the Rev. John Grayson, pastor of Gospel Tabernacle, there will be plenty of seating for all who come. A lighted parking lot, with security, is available across the street from the church, and child care will be provided by the youth of his church. The services normally last about an hour and a half.

Coats described the mid-September service at Brown Chapel as one of the best in the series.

The September service was Grayson’s first time to participate, and he was so moved by the event that he later offered his church building for the November event. Grayson said he was not sure how the idea would be accepted by his congregation, but he was exceedingly pleased when the invitation was approved with standing applause when presented.

A major new development since the last service has been the organization of a Unity Choir, consisting of persons from many of the churches whose members are now participating. The leaders are Missy Calvert, a member of the praise team at First Church of the Nazarene, and Joslyn Reddick, director of the young adult choir at Brown Chapel.

According to Calvert, the first Unity Choir practice was held at First Church of the Nazarene this past Saturday and there were 14-15 in attendance. The next practice will be held at 6 p.m. on Sunday, before the service at Gospel Tabernacle. The idea for a choir originated at the Brown Chapel service when several participants practiced briefly before that service.

Calvert said, &uot;We expect the unity service praise team to grow as God leads it.&uot;

The only qualification is a love for the Lord, she said, and no audition is required.

Another innovation will be the participation of more pastors in the leadership of the service. Coats said that leadership of this Sunday evening’s service will include at least six minister participants, with four reading from Scripture and offering brief remarks, one minister leading in prayer and one minister speaking on the meaning of worship.

Coats said that the focus of the service will be worship in music.

Coats said his hope is that through this service and other initiatives that have grown out of it &045; such as the new Saturday night services for youth at the old National Guard armory which will begin on Nov. 15 &045; &uot;the people of God in Selma will praise and glorify God together with one voice and one mind.&uot;