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160-member National Christian Choir fills Waynesboro church with joyful noise

April 21, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • The National Christian Choir sings for a large audience Sunday at the Five Forks Church Brethren in Christ in Waynesboro.
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Voices filled Five Forks Church north of Waynesboro on Sunday during a visit from the 160-member National Christian Choir.

Audience members filled the auditorium and spilled into the hallway for the performance featuring contemporary Christian music, hymn arrangements, gospel songs and a cappella moments.

“It’s more of a worship service rather than a concert where the audience sits detached,” said Kathy Bowman, director of music and ministries for the choir.

Started in 1984, The National Christian Choir rehearses weekly in Rockville, Md., during the school year. Its dozen performances during that time typically take it through five states, and a “Second Edition” group of 24 singers visits smaller churches.

Members audition for a spot in the choir.

Five years ago, Paul Hannegan of Fayetteville, Pa., found himself in one of those auditions. He heard the choir perform at The Capitol Theatre in Chambersburg, Pa., and decided to audition.

“I had just retired. I couldn’t have done this when I was working,” said Hannegan, who attends Five Forks Church.

The choir members are a fabulous group of people, Hannegan said.

“They all love the Lord, they love each other and they love the work they do,” he said.

Bowman said the members have fun and enjoy what they do.

“We try to draw the audience into the life of a performance,” she said.

Brenda Mahaffey, who lives on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, joined the choir 19 years ago.

“It’s my ministry,” she said. “It’s the way I serve the Lord.”

She and Betty Mountjoy said they get much more from the experience than what they put into it.

“It’s very rewarding, very spiritually uplifting,” said Mountjoy, of Triangle, Va.

Mountjoy and Rob Burba of Germantown, Md., have fond memories of the group’s 2008 trip to Israel.

“As a Christian, when you step off the plane in Israel, you feel like you’re home somewhere you’ve never been,” Burba said.

Mahaffey was most looking forward to performing “Revelation Song” at Five Forks Church, while Mountjoy identified “There’s Power in the Name of Jesus” as her favorite selection. Bowman said she was eagerly anticipating “Thou, Oh Lord.”

The National Christian Choir sells albums of its music. For more information, go to  www.nationalchristianchoir.org.

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