Athens Review, Athens, Texas

April 22, 2013

A sweet sound

FBC Malakoff women’s ensemble to perform Sunday

Rich Flowers
The Athens Review

Athens — Sweet Assurance, a women’s ensemble based at First Baptist Church in Malakoff, has been spreading goodwill and harmony through gospel and praise songs for about 20 years.

Past and present members of the group will gather at the church Sunday at 6 p.m. to present an evening of the favorite songs they’ve sung through the years.

“The reason for the event we’re doing now is to invite all members who have been a part of the group,” said member Adabeth Routt. “So far, we have about 14 people who have confirmed that they will be with us.”

Routt hopes the night will be more than a chance to relive old times.

“We want it to be worshipful, but we are going to honor Lettie Perry for her contribution in getting it started, and her years in the music ministry,” Routt said.

Barbra Monroe has been with Sweet Assurance for most of its history. She said the group’s name came from a songbook the ladies used back in the early days.

“Most of them out of that book are the gospel songs. The newer ones have more of the praise and worship songs,” Monroe said.

Both Monroe and Routt say Sweet Assurance has had many highlights through the years, but if they had to name one it would be a mid-90s mission trip to Mexico.

“We were able to sing in local churches and on Mexican radio,” Routt said. “It was quite a great experience.”

Everyone in the group has input as to what songs are sung.

“We don’t have a leader, so to speak,” Routt said. “If you can believe five ladies can get around and agree on things — it really works out well.”

Some of the selections are more challenging than others, Routt said, and they get together once a week to polish the performances.

“There’s always prayerful consideration of what we sing,” Routt said. “We realize it’s an opportunity to share the love of Christ wherever we go. We’re privileged to get to do that.”

Monroe thinks the group has lasted so long because its focus has remained on Jesus Christ.

“I think it’s because we’re doing it for the Lord and not ourselves,” Monroe said. “We asked to be removed so God can fill us and sing through us.”