Unity service scheduled for Sunday a.m.

Published 10:22 pm Friday, July 10, 2009

The city’s quarterly Unity Service is set for First Presbyterian Church Sunday at 6 p.m.

Started more than a decade ago, the ecumenical service rotates among the downtown Selma churches and is open to all.

The Rev. Dr. Ron Stone, pastor of the host church, said, “Now that the Fourth of July events are behind us, we are hoping to welcome a large crowd who will enjoy the excellent program planned,” he says.

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The Rev. Frederick L. Hardy, pastor of First Baptist Church Martin Luther King, will bring the message. A Selma native, he fills the pulpit left vacant by the death of the Rev. Terry Armstrong.

Hardy’s sermon topic Sunday will be “The Importance of a Positive Attitude,” which he says is “the best Selma has to offer.”

Hardy began preaching at age 15 at Second Baptist Church, studied for the ministry at Selma University and had his first church pulpit at age 26.

His wife, Patricia, teaches at Southside School. They are the parents of a daughter, Paisley, 11.

Hardy is also a fifth-grade teacher at B.K. Craig School.

Speaking of his two occupations he says, laughing, “I sometimes find myself ministering to my kids and teaching the congregation.”

A special feature of the Unity Service introduces Mime Rashad Pressley, a ninth grade student at Selma High School. His performance is entitled “Before the Throne,’’ and is performed by Rashad in black and white make-up.

He is a student at Mime Academy in West Village Church of the Nazarene. He attends Fresh Annointing House of Worship.

The Unity Service will also offer an exceptional musical program, said Sarah Crisman Morelock, organist-director of music at First Presbyterian.

Quentin Lane, of Brown Chapel AME Church, will play the organ prelude, Bach’s “Blessed Jesus, Here We Are.”

The First Baptist Senior Choir No. 1, directed by Wanda Young-Lowe, First Baptist organist, will perform the entrance hymn, to be followed by an anthem.

Lane will play the organ postlude, “Improvisation on ‘McKee’,’’ with its lyrics appropriate to the theme of Unity:

“In Christ now meet both east and west, In Him both south and north…

All Christly souls are one in Him throughout the whole wide earth.”