The members of the Lighthouse of Jesus Christ are still trying to heal from the tragedy that struck the congregation in November when three of their own were killed in a traffic accident.
Now, as a way to commemorate the lives of Edith Jackson, Angie Arthur and Melvira Johnson, the church will host a special presentation of “God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse.”
Funds raised from the program will benefit the surviving families as they continue to deal with their loss.
Since the accident — which occurred near Jamestown as a group from the church was en route to a revival— the congregation has been helping with mortgage payments and other needs. However, it was determined a community-wide event needed to take place to help with the finances.
Georgetonian Donald Gilliard, who has been traveling as the producer of God’s Trombones, agreed to bring the show to his hometown to help the families.
“Bringing God’s Trombones to Georgetown is something I have always wanted to do because this is my home,” Gilliard said at a press conference Thursday.
He said the tragedy in November was personal to him because Jackson was a high school classmate. Arthur was a cook at Aunny’s restaurant, which is owned by his friend Charles Johnson.
Bishop Floyd Knowlin, founder and pastor of Lighthouse of Jesus Christ Church noted members of the local business community are also helping to raise funds.
John Hilliard, of Hilliard Law Firm; Joe Young, owner of Lowcountry Forest Products and Scott Jacob of the Cultural Arts Council — as well as the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce — will be working to help with the endeavor.
About God’s Trombones
The program is derived from a book written in 1927 by James Weldon Johnson “that is made up of seven Negro sermons,” Gilliard said.
The seven sermons included are:
• Listen, Lord — A Prayer
• The Creation – a retelling of the creation story of the Bible
• The Prodigal Son – from the biblical parable of the prodigal son
• Go Down Death — A Funeral Sermon
• Noah Built the Ark
• The Crucifixion
• Let My People Go
• The Judgment Day
Gilliard has produced the program in places such as Charlotte, Florence and Marlboro County. In each place he uses pastors from the surrounding area to present each of the sermons.
At next month’s presentation, the pastors who will participate along with Bishop Knowlin are:
• Pastor Jason Coakley of St. Peter Missionary Baptist Church
• Rev. Carl Anderson of St. Stephen AME Church
• Bishop John Smith of Bibleway Church
• Apostle Richard Frasier of Love Chapel of Deliverance Center
• Elder Robert Davis of Soul Saving Station
• Rev. Harry Lee of Chester Hill Missionary Baptist Church
“The sermons are done like old Negro preachers did in the ’20s,” Gilliard said. “Of course we are modernizing it and allowing the preachers to bring their own style.”
There will be a 40-member choir and a ten-person trombone section in the production.
By Scott Harper
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