Story and photo by Jacquelyn Darby
Pastor Vincent Ford II, First Lady Antwanelle Ford and the members of the Church of Christ celebrated their 27th church anniversary during a weekend of special services. The celebration included a concert and dinner on Saturday, September 26 – leading up to a worship service and fellowship dinner on Sunday, September 28.
The celebration began with a concert of traditional hymns and other favorite spirituals on Saturday at 7 p.m. Brother Ricky Anderson served as moderator of the concert, who led the congregation in singing their theme song, “We Are One In the Spirit.” Brother R. J. White blessed the program with an opening prayer and welcome.
“Kids Under Construction” performed the first songs, followed by musical selections from “Young Disciples” and “Gifted.”
The United Combined Chorus, directed by Sister Arlene Bobo, and concert coordinator, performed several beautiful musical selections. The program continued with performances from groups, “Joy,” “Harmony” and “Genesis.” The group, “Spirit” performed several gospel selections including “Yes, we love you,” and “Celebrate His Name.”
The program continued with special recognition in honor of Ransford Bennett, who has been a member of the Church of Christ Choir since 2005. The choir members also dressed in the colors of the Jamaican flag, the birthplace of Brother Ransford. Many members, friends, family and loved ones rose to offer words of encouragement in honor of Brother Ransford. The United Chorus also honored Brother Ransford by singing his favorite hymn, “Face to Face.”
“Brothers With Soul” another acapella group, continued the concert performing several stirring musical favorites that brought everyone to their feet. Sister Arlene Bobo, coordinator and choir leader offered words of appreciation to all of the participants and thanked everyone for their hard work. The Combined Choruses performed a finale, singing the favorite hymn “Total Praise.”
Pastor Vincent Ford, II, and guest speaker Pastor Fate Hagood, III, Sr., minister at Metropolitan Church of Christ, both offered words of praise for the many performances. Pastor Ford closed the evening with benediction. Everyone then gathered to enjoy a delicious Jamaican buffet in honor of Brother Ransford Bennett.
The celebration continued on Sunday with song leader Brother Austin Brabble III. Brother Patrick White provided the scripture reading, followed by selections from “Genesis” and “Brothers of Soul.” Brother Sherman Elam provided the main prayer for the celebration.
Pastor Vincent Ford II warmly introduced featured speaker Pastor Fate Hagood, III who delivered the celebration message. He based his message on texts found in Mark 2:1-12, focusing on the story of the paralyzed man from Capernaum who was brought to Jesus for healing. His sermon exhorted that even though we have to overcome obstacles, like the paralyzed man, we still need to overcome and do whatever we need to do to get to Jesus. He went on to say that we need to bring our issues to Jesus, and then “Get out of the way, because sometimes our feelings, our intellect and opinions of others will block us from getting our blessings.”