By Sharon Pepper and Tammy Brown, Mt. Pleasant UMC Choir
Photo right: Mt. Pleasant UMC choir will perform two songs for the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference Gospel Extravaganza in Washington, D.C. next month.
The Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church choir has been invited by Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson to represent the state of Mississippi during the 45th Annual Legislative Conference Gospel Extravaganza. The choir will perform on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015, at the United House of Prayer for All People in Washington, DC.
In a shared statement, the choir said they are truly grateful for this all-expense paid trip and opportunity to bless the Lord through song and praise.
"As a choir, it is certain we do not always hit every note quite right, and sometimes sing a little out of tune or off beat. There is no doubt however, that we are all, individually and collectively, seeking to glorify God by spreading the gospel in song, always recognizing that 'Every Praise Belongs to God.'"
The choir was invited after Thompson's wife heard them sing during an event honoring West Jackson District superintendent Rev. Stephen Cook. The following Sunday, Thompson visited the church and enjoyed the choir as well.
The Mt. Pleasant United Methodist Church Choir has been in existence in some form since establishment of Mt. Pleasant Church in Vaughan, Mississippi (Yazoo County) in the 1800s. The Negro Spiritual is without question a recognized part of American history, and Mt. Pleasant is no exception. Moreover, the scripture itself speaks of the connection of music and its importance to the worship service. "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)
Evolving from separate junior and senior choirs, current choir members range in age from the very young to the quite seasoned. Membership
consists of the members of the church having a desire to serve the Lord in song and from time to time visiting songstresses or songsters. Like the choir itself, leadership has also evolved over the years.
Currently, an estimated 15 or so members sing under the pastoral leadership of church pastor, Rev. Cleavern Robertson, the organizational leadership of choir president, Robbie Brown and the musical leadership of minister of music, McKinley Waters.