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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

FBC Weaver youth ensemble sings at historic landmarkscomment (0)

February 19, 2004

By Theresa Shadrix


An Alabama Baptist singing group named Commandment has lifted its collective voice at historic sites and landmarks in 24 states, including the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing and Ground Zero in New York.
   
“The choir is a great group of young people who love the Lord Jesus Christ,” said Allen Hudson, minister of music and youth at First Baptist Church, Weaver. “[They] will sing for Him anyplace, anytime.”
   
In December 2003 this 33-member choir, comprised entirely of youth from First, Weaver, sang at several different sites in Washington, D.C. and later at a historical battleground in New York City.
   
In Washington they sang at the Old Post Office, home to the bells of the U.S. Congress.
   
The performance was followed by a late afternoon 75-minute private concert for White House staff and families in the East Room. 
   
After receiving a private tour of the White House, the momentous day ended with the group from Weaver performing at the Pageant of Peace on the White House lawn.
   
“The youth were really awed by it, especially the response by the people,” said Hudson. “There were a ton of people who came by and gave a rip-roaring ovation.”
   
If singing in the White House was not enough, Hudson said the choir members were in awe of the freedom they had to sing Christian songs.
   
“The biggest ovation we got was from a song called ‘The End of the Beginning,’ which is very evangelistic. We sang ‘He’s an On-time God’ and even ‘Christmas in Dixie,’” Hudson said.
   
More than anything, the group left the White House with a transformed view of Washington, D.C., and freedom of expression.
   
“The whole atmosphere of the White House was amazing,” Hudson said.
   
This is the second time Commandment has been invited to sing at the White House in the past three years. After leaving Washington, the group sang in the Sunday morning service of Plymouth Haven Baptist Church in Alexandria, Va.
   
But it was the performance of the Star Spangled Banner at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Md., that filled Hudson and the entire choir with pride.
   
“In my 30 years of ministry, all of my choirs have performed the National Anthem, but to sing where bombs were being dropped for the freedom of our country, it meant a lot to me and the kids,” Hudson said.
   
With a renewed faith in their country and a hunger for the Big Apple, the group set off for New York City.
   
Missing a chance to sing on NBC’s “Today Show,” they moved on and gathered at the flagpole at the Statue of Liberty.
   
There the choir sang an inspirational rendition of “God Bless America” and “The Star Spangled Banner” for spectators.
   
From Lady Liberty they descended on Liberty Street to Fire Ten House, which is located directly across the street from where the World Trade Center Towers once stood.
   
Firefighters from Ten House were some of the first on the scene to witness the devastation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
   
“This was a very emotional time and the response from the crowd was overwhelming,” said Hudson.
   
The station received extensive damage during the attack and was reopened in November 2003 after a $3.5 million renovation.
   
“It was very moving because they sang right in front of where the towers stood,” Hudson said.

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