Thankful Missionary Baptist Church
Just got back from playing music at this incredible church on the north side of Jacksonville, and have to get my thoughts down while they are fresh. Nothing could have prepared me for this experience, of attending an old style revival church. It was simply and utterly amazing. The building was not large, and it was old. The moment I walked through the door I could feel the Holy Spirit was present, and was it ever. There were perhaps 40-50 people crammed into the church. The occasion was women's night. so it was a fund raiser, and yes I donated to the cause. I had intended on leaving work early today, but was slammed the second half of the day. I managed to leave at 5, and it was storming out, there were low dark tornado clouds, torrential rain, massive lightning and thunder, even hail hitting my car even though it was 75 out). What it was, God was urging me to hurry up, of this I am sure. He didn't want me to miss any of the preaching and praise going on, but unfortunately I did, I missed the first half of the entire night. When I came in there was this older man (well he was older than me, so I guess he was really old!) and he was singing, an incredible voice. There was a woman playing a roland keyboard with an excellent organ module and bass pedals, and another woman playing drums. This man, Rev. Lovette, could really sing, and the crowd was into it, singing, clapping, dancing, this church was rocking! Then they introduced us, Steven Rose and friends, meaning Moe and Jessica. We were given a warm welcome, and I said some words from my heart, about thanks, and praise, and our love of music, and especially our love of God. I was impressed that so many were out on a Friday night, and that so many children were in attendance. But, on with the show. The three of us have only actually played together once or twice. We have played 2 at a time more often, but us three not so much. So we only had a couple of songs worked out. OH yeah, I asked the woman playing drums to continue and play with us, so that was a nice touch as well. The first, the Blind Faith song, In the Presence of the Lord. I was the only one who knew the words, it was my arrangement, so I sang it. I am not a great singer, but I like to sing anyways. So we played this song, I sang it not half bad, the crowd loved it, sang along, danced, and clapped, and really seemed to enjoy it, and accept us. Then Jessica sang King of My Heart, she has such a beautiful voice, and played the guitar, and I just jammed off her playing, and this ballad was so beautiful, I just loved it. The crowd really liked this too, I could tell. I was sort of worried that they would only want more revival type songs, and I will definately work on some for the next time, but tonight, more ballads. So we played the next song. Moe, he's 17, got the spirit, and so Jessica brought the volume down, and Moe preached to the church. He said we are not blind, yet we felt loved. He was referring to our ethnicities, the church was entirely black, Jessica and Moe are latino, and I white. But he was right, this church accepted us and loved us, really made us feel welcome. So when he was done, the Pastor grabbed a mic, and sang this song along to the music we were playing, it was fantastic! Really a great night for my soul. After we were done, there was more singing and dancing, and I didn't want it to end. But it did. I hung around and talked to most of the people attending, thanked them for inviting us. I hope they do more of these events, and invite us. Next time my son should be there, as he plays the tenor sax along with these songs, and that is a great addition to the whole sound. But I'l say this, if I wasn't so engrained in the church I now attend, I would definately want to join this church. I just felt it in there, and it felt good.