Over six decades of song

Published 10:59 pm Friday, February 4, 2011

The Missionary Choir of Greater Sweet Beulah Apostolic Church has been around for 61 years, and the church is preparing for a celebration.

They will commemorate the anniversary Feb. 13 with a concert at the church, 137 Maple St. It also is the 33rd year for organist and director Gregory Lawrence.

“The choir was organized in the early ‘50s,” Lawrence said. At the time, District Elder George W. Bell felt the church needed another choir when it moved from a Tynes Street building to the larger Maple Street location.

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“It’s been a blessing for me,” said Bertha Wigfall, the current president of the choir. “Gregory has been an inspiration for all of us. He does a diligent job.”

The choir has performed as far away as New York and frequently attends other churches for their choir celebrations. Members also have done community service by performing at nursing homes such as Autumn Care and preparing baskets to give to needy families during the holiday season.

The choir has been around so long that the children of some members are even beginning to become members themselves, Lawrence added.

“We’re blessed to have their children to keep the choir alive,” he said. “And we are blessed to honor our pastor, Suffragan Bishop Madison G. Copeland. We thank God for him.”

Lawrence said the choir always works together.

“There’s no bickering,” he said. “Everybody works together as one.”

The choir’s Feb. 13 event will include the Franklin Community Male Chorus and Brenda Boone and Higher Praise Community Choir in concert.