United Methodist Hour plans live worship, concert


The United Methodist Hour has been featuring various Christian musicians as a part of the worship service for its weekly television program, Time That Makes The Difference, for over 35 years. Now, it is bringing a sampling of those musicians together for what is hoped will become a yearly event. 

Methodist churches of the Laurel Cluster met earlier this year and proposed having a live worship service, highlighting the music and ministry of The Hour programs. 

“The cluster fully supports the mission of The Hour. We wanted to bring familiar voices and faces of the program to our area.  We’re very excited,” said Cheryl Jordan, representative for the Laurel Cluster and former chair of The Hour’s Board of Directors, said.

The Rev. Shane Stanford, host of Time That Makes The Difference and Salt & Light, another radio broadcast ministry of The Hour, is scheduled to emcee the concert along with other regular on-air personalities, the Rev. Keith Tonkel and Dr. Ronnie Kent.  

Among the musical presenters for the evening are gospel choirs, jazz soloists, vocalists and even some of The Hour staff who usually stand behind cameras rather than in front of them.  Also on the schedule for the evening’s events is a live radio taping session of Time That Makes The Difference. 

The United Methodist Hour of Mississippi, Inc. houses its offices and production studio in Hattiesburg. The Hour programs currently broadcast on 14 television stations, and 15 radio stations in the Southeast.  

“We are a non-profit organization that exists because good people, like the ones in Laurel sponsoring this event, see the need to contribute to our ministry,” says Kim Kay, chief operations officer for The Hour. “It’s twofold. They minister to us, and we minister to them.” 

The Spotlight Concert will take place at 6 p.m. April 29 in the sanctuary of Laurel First United Methodist Church, located at 420 N. 5th Ave. No admission will be charged and reservations are not required. A love offering will be taken to go toward The United Methodist Hour’s operating expenses. For information, call 601-296-1676.