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FUMC praise team to perform during festival

There will be many activities going on this weekend in conjunction with the Franklin County Watermelon Festival, but one local church hopes festival goers will take a break from the heat and join them for a praise and worship concert Saturday afternoon.

The Praise Team at First United Methodist Church in downtown Russellville will be providing special music Saturday starting at noon in the sanctuary of the church, which is located at the corner of Jackson Avenue and Madison Street.

Pastor Bo Lloyd said the service is something the Praise Team started doing six years ago as a way to reach out to the community at a time when many people would be gathered downtown near the church.

“We all know how hot it gets during the Watermelon Festival so we wanted to provide a service for the community where they could come in out of the heat and rest,” Lloyd said, “but we also want it to be an opportunity for them to get to experience our service, meet some of our church members and see what First Methodist in Russellville is all about.

“We want the people to know we are open to the community and everyone is welcome.”

Worship leader Pat Seal said the sanctuary would be open earlier this year than in years past.

“It seems as if the crowd dwindles a little in the afternoon because of the heat, so this year we are going to try starting at noon so that if people come early, they can just stop in at the church before they leave the festival,” Seal said.

The group has added several new songs to their line up from last year and will repeat several favorites such as “How Great is Our God,” “Glorious Day,” “Everlasting God,” “How Can I Keep From Singing,” and “Revelation Song.”

“It’s a really good service and something people, both church members and non-church members, have enjoyed over the years,” Seal said.

He added that everyone is welcome to come and go as the wish during the singing.

The group consists of singers Susan Godsey, Kristy Blackburn, Melissa Mitchell, Judy Burcham, Jessica Wood, Ashley Flippo and Teresa Seal.

Musicians include Pat Seal, Jason Hartsell, Ed Blackburn, Braxton Dempsey, Seth Godsey and Stephen Flippo. Technicians are Scott Godsey and Buddy Perdue.

The praise team provides the music at the contemporary service each Sunday morning at 8:45 a.m.