By Woody Woodrick
Elizabeth Cumbest says the seven songs she has written about Hurricane Katrina are prayers set to music.
Those involved with the
Cumbest, 15, will release an eight-song CD at a special service at 3 p.m. Jan. 14 at
When Katrina roared ashore on Aug. 29, 2005, a dozen people sought shelter in Seashore Mission, a church that serves the poor and homeless in
Cumbest became involved with the mission as a child working with her parents, the Revs. Chris and Sheila Cumbest.
From the day of the storm through last July, the teenager wrote seven songs praising God but also expressing her fears and heartache and those of her friends and family.
“I’m broken inside
“And this pain in my heart I can’t hide.
“When it seems that everything I love is gone,
“And everything that could went wrong
“When there’s nothing else, I need you.”
“Cause I’m crying and I’m torn
“My spirit is broken, my heart is worn
“And when it seems there’s nothing left to do
“That’s when I need you.”
- from “I Need You”
Cumbest hadn’t planned to do much with her songs. In early summer, she traveled to
During the trip, someone suggested Elizabeth Cumbest put her song The Storm on a CD.
“I started thinking that I had written several songs and wondered how I could use them to help the ministry of the
“I think it was a God thing that he told me to do this.”
Still, she didn’t rush into the recording studio. She talked it over with her parents, mentioning that she wanted to help the
The Rev. Elijah Mitchell, pastor at the
“I think it’s a great idea that will help the church,” Mitchell said. “I attended a council meeting when she presented her plan and we’re excited about it.
“She’s been telling the story of what happened at the
Cumbest recalled that meeting, and said it was emotional. “We were all in tears together. They laid hands on me and prayed for their mission as I do my mission for their mission,” she said.
The Cumbests began asking around about producers and recording studios and were referred to Jim Barnes in
Cumbest said the recording process “was really cool.”
“It was very neat to have to learn how to do all that,” she said. “I had to play the guitar and sing about 20 times for each song it felt like. I think I did each song about five times.
“We had to record the guitar, vocals and mix it, then go back and put in all the other instruments I wanted to put in.”
While the recording experience was fun, Cumbest doesn’t see herself pursuing a music career.
“I really want to go to law school first. My dream is to be in politics and law. This is the kind of thing where if God leads you go. I haven’t dreamed of being a singer,” she said.
Besides helping provide some needed funds for the Seashore Mission, Cumbest said she hopes the songs encourage all who hear them.
“I hope those who live on the
How to Order All Things New – Songs of Hope after Hurricane Katrina CD’s are $10 each. To order by mail call 228-588-9222 or send $12.50 ($10 plus $2.50 shipping and handling) to P.O. Box 849, Hurley, MS 39555. Make checks payable to Seashore District UMC/Mission Church.
How to Order
All Things New – Songs of Hope after Hurricane Katrina CD’s are $10 each. To order by mail call 228-588-9222 or send $12.50 ($10 plus $2.50 shipping and handling) to P.O. Box 849, Hurley, MS 39555. Make checks payable to Seashore District UMC/Mission Church.