Athens Review, Athens, Texas


July 5, 2014

CSUMC provided a memorable experience

Athens — My wife Jean and I went to a very interesting, and what I consider a very unique event last Saturday night.

I had heard that the church where we are members, Carroll Springs United Methodist Church, was having an event in which people sitting in the audience would sing their favorite hymns into a microphone.

I have been a member of Toastmasters International for more than 30 years, and could remember my first trip to a mic’ in front of a lot of people as a nervous experience, to say the least. But that was just to give a short speech – not sing. 

Certainly, I believed that to sing in front of a group would be even more challenging.  Therefore, Jean and I went to the gathering Saturday to watch what others were doing, and perhaps at the next one, I may openly participate, doing more than applauding. We thought – well we might, but perhaps not.  The jury was still out.

I watched as people, both members of CSUMC, and those who are not, were singing their hearts out. I learned that there was some thought about making it an entertaining performance. 

But, the most important part of singing to the group was to communicate their feelings about the Lord Jesus Christ. 

They were people of all backgrounds, ages and genders.

After some congregational gospel hymns, the service is opened up to anyone who would like to sing, play or offer another musical gifts. Solos, duets, or groups could offer two pieces each. Recorded background tracks on cassettes, CD's, or digital media could be used.  A pianist and bass player were also available for live accompaniment.

The Rev. Steven C. Newcomb, Sr., pastor of the church, said the event can be classified as a tradition.

“Our monthly services of singing are truly incredible opportunities to worship God through music. Although they start like a traditional ‘hymn sing,’ the movement into a time of opportunity for any and all present to offer special offerings of song, not only allows those individuals or groups who play or sing to worship through their offerings, but also provides a powerful worship experience for everyone in the room,” the pastor said. “Anyone who wishes to offer special music may do so with up to two pieces. Our service starts at 6 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month, and goes until we are done. The singing is followed by a time of table fellowship, with food provided by the members of Carroll Springs UMC.”

The church is located at 5810 County Road 4600, Athens. The pastor’s e-mail is

Congratulations to all who sang. It was a wonderful evening of fellowship, as Pastor Newcomb has indicated.  I’m sure most everyone left feeling as high on God and beautiful memories as Jean and I were.

And, the food after the event was as truly wonderful as it always is when CSUMC church members spend their time cooking before the church events.

A special thanks goes to, not only those that performed, but also to those who organized the event.  The Rev. Newcomb comes to mind, as well as the song leader for the church, Dana Mitchell. Certainly, Melinda Mitchell played a big part, as well as many others that I saw moving around helping others with microphones, musical instruments and various other duties.

Jeff Riggs is Associate Editor of the Athens Daily Review.

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