Friends, family and the community gathered for a pre-Christmas musical concert on December 3 at Clark Memorial United Methodist Church, entitled ‘God’s Greatest Gift: Jesus’ featuring ‘Just Us’ and the ‘Men of Compassion.’
The evening began with a brief order of worship that included the selection ‘My Soul Doth Give You Praise’ performed by The Mission Chorus.
As the church had been decorated during the morning worship service with the ‘Hanging of the Greens,’ two beautiful trees were lit on each side of the choir stand along with other Christmas decor creating a special Christmas ambiance accompanying the lovely Christmas songs arranged and sung with great holiday spirit.
The program continued with selections from Just Us. They performed ‘Angels We Have Heard on High,’ ‘New Born,’ ‘Wonderful Counselor,’ and ‘Go Tell It on The Mountain.’
“As these are well known Christmas songs, the arrangements made them more special and really put me in the holiday spirit,” said Tosha Brown, attendee at the concert.
The Men of Compassion continued that spirit as they sang ‘There’s No Christmas Without You,’ ‘Silent Night,’ ‘Mary, Did You Know,’ and ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem.’
Just Us is a group that was formed in the 1970s with three married couples who were all friends and former Fisk Jubilee Singers. They were later joined by a like-minded student from Hampton, Paula Y. Holmes.
Just Us has been privileged to perform concerts at a plethora of churches in Nashville. However, their talents expand nationally as they have performed in Mississippi, Kentucky and done other recordings for a variety of community entities.
The mission of Just Us is to preserve the performance of Negro spirituals.
Men of Compassion is a group formally known as The Ensemble. The group was formed in 2001 to provide service to Lee Chapel and the Nashville community. In 2017 the name was changed. Their primary mission is to help raise funds for the work of the Mission Chorus and Team of Nashville.
“Beyond that, though, these men just love to sing,” said Paula Holmes, founder and director.
Holmes is also the founder and director of The Mission Chorus whose mission is to give service at least once quarterly in regular Sunday worship services to churches within Middle Tennessee without choirs and/or musicians. They often travel long distances annually to assist churches with specific missions.
The group is comprised of several Christian denominations, including: African Methodist Episcopal, Church of Christ, Church of God, United Methodist, Baptist and Christian Methodist Episcopal members.
The Mission Chorus is joined by a Mission Team, providing physical and financial assistance.
“We are open to everyone,” said Holmes. “All we ask is that a person believes in God, and loves Him and His people.”
New Spirit! & Friends present ‘The Christmas Song’
The public is invited to be drawn into the majesty and miracle of the Christmas Story in song and narration as never before when New Spirit! & Friends present ‘The Christmas Song,’ arranged by Bradley Knight. During this holy season, everyone is invited to attend and enjoy this presentation on Saturday, December 16, at 6 pm at St. Luke CME Church, 2008
Ed Temple Blvd. where Rev. Leon Parker III is the pastor.
New Spirit! & Friends is a vocal ensemble whose mission is to spread the message of God’s love through the presentation of cantatas during the Advent/Christmas and Lenten/Easter seasons. It has been New Spirit’s privilege since 1998 to serve the Nashville Chapter, NAACP; the 13th Episcopal District Lay and the Tennessee Conference Lay Organizations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; and a host of private ceremonies. Current membership has included former Fisk Jubilee Singers, TSU Meistersingers, a Hamptonian, as well as a nationally recognized musical artist.
“The repertoire is completely sacred—anthems, spirituals and gospel music,” said founder, Paula Holmes.
Paula Y. Holmes is founder/director; Leonard Morton, Sr. is orchestra director; M. Mercedes Lytle is pianist; Rip Patton is percussionist; and Bridgette Dooley is the narrator.
For more information on the choirs or to assist in the varied ministry efforts, contact P. Holmes at <email@example.com>.