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Hunter Street Baptist Church’s Allred to lead music at SBC annual meetingcomment (0)

May 21, 2009

By Ashley Anderton

Is there a doctor in the house?

Yes. And he can sing.

Worship at this year’s Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Louisville, Ky., will be led by Alabama native Scott Allred, minister of music at Hunter Street Baptist Church, Hoover, in Birmingham Baptist Association.

“I am humbled and look forward to encouraging thousands across our convention,” Allred said. “This honor continues to affirm my calling and God’s sovereignty.”

Allred will not be going alone to the convention. Alongside him will be Hunter Street Baptist’s 200-voice choir, lifting their voices in praise to God. The group has prepared a diverse repertoire of music for the Tuesday night session and will be singing with the Paul Baloche Band on Wednesday.

“I hope our choir will be encouraged and challenged to see how God is working everywhere, not just at Hunter Street,” Allred said.

Remembering who God is and what He has done will be the concept behind the music, he said. He hopes remembering will fuel thousands to answer this year’s convention theme, “LoveLoud,” a call to love and service.

Pointing out what God has done in his own life, Allred said his road to music ministry has been long. Prior to practicing choral arrangements, hymns and praise songs, he practiced medicine.

His journey to ministry began in 1981 at Lakeside Baptist Church, Birmingham, in Birmingham Baptist Association, when he started taking part in youth choir and ensemble, playing the trumpet in the church orchestra and playing the piano for the second-grade Sunday School children’s department.

“My active involvement in the music programs at Lakeside Baptist laid the foundation for my love for music ministry today,” Allred said.

But at that time, he wasn’t fully committed to taking the music ministry route for his life.

“In high school, I knew God wanted me to use my life serving in music ministry, but I was easily distracted by making good grades,” he said. “Guidance counselors and family encouraged me to pursue a ‘more ambitious career’ in medicine. Unfortunately, I did not place the matter before God.”

In 1985, Allred graduated from Briarwood Christian School in Birmingham. Afterward, he attended Samford University in Birmingham on multiple scholarships in pre-medicine with a minor in music.

He also worked missions into his studies at Samford. During the summer of 1988, he participated in tent revivals in Germany. Part of his mission was to help the German Baptist Union establish new churches in a then-divided Germany.

“Even though I hesitated from answering the call to ministry, God still saw fit to use me,” he said.

One particular tent revival made an impression on him. A host missionary challenged his team to consider the questions, “Am I where God wants me to be?” and “Am I seeking and obeying God’s directives for my life?”

“Uncertain and refusing to trust God, I continued to place my main focus on getting accepted into medical school,” Allred said.

After graduation from Samford in 1989, he attended the University of Alabama School of Medicine.

“I excelled in all my course work but hated what I was doing. My plans were not as fulfilling as expected. I was miserable,” Allred said.

While still involved in church ministries during medical school, Allred said it was not the same. “Going through the motions, I no longer prayed, and [I] wavered in reading the Bible. My passion was gone.

“Still, God was working in my life,” he added.

“In medical school, a Bible study and prayer group for medical professionals began. I studied the Bible and prayed again. My spiritual life experienced renewal. I asked God to show me His will. He gave me a deep burden for the ministry, [but] I refused to respond to God’s call.”

Upon graduation from medical school, Allred began a radiology residency program in 1994 at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Ore.

“I reasoned if God really didn’t want me to be a doctor, He would have stopped me,” he said. “For more than 10 years, God permitted me to run from His will. He allowed me to go my own way to discover His way was best.”

But in February 1995, Allred renewed his commitment to Christ and decided to answer God’s call.

“God’s spirit impressed upon me the immediacy of my calling,” he said. And after months of praying, Allred and his wife, Melody, left medicine and accepted the call to be minister of music at an independent Baptist church, Northside Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C.

After three years at Northside Baptist, Allred answered the call to Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte, N.C., in Metrolina Baptist Association. He served at Hickory Grove Baptist as senior minister of music for three years. In 2003, God opened the door to join Hunter Street, where he currently serves as minister of music.

“God has shown me time and time again I made the right choice,” Allred said, adding that he believes everyone has a God call in his life.

“I am confident if they’ll step back, think about it, pray and consider — the calling is obvious. Be honest with yourself, and have courage to step out on faith. In the world’s eyes, it makes no sense at all.”

As he remembers the long road to music ministry, Allred said he cannot believe where it has led him.

“I’m not sure I’d have ever experienced the degree of joy that comes from doing what God meant for me to do,” he said. “What I do is my joy — it is not my job. I am not sure everybody can say that.”

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