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FBC's patriotic tribute dedicated to veterans, active service members

By BRENDA BROWN bbrown@atlantacitizensjournal.com
June 27, 2012 at 11 p.m.

Veterans, families and friends are invited to be special guests for First Baptist Church of Atlanta's July Fourth tribute this weekend.

"In God We Still Trust," a patriotic presentation honoring both veterans and active military personnel, is set for Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's show begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception to follow; Sunday morning's show begins at 10:50, during morning worship services.

Dale Perkins, FBC music minister, said "In God We Still Trust" involves the church's adult First Praise Choir and Praise Team, as well as a select group of singing children, local servicemen and Boy Scouts from Troop 41.

"It is a highly choreographed program that weds new patriotic music with old," he explained.

The church originally planned the show only for its Sunday morning service, but people from other churches and veterans said they wanted to attend. So, Perkins' group decided to add an extra presentation for Saturday evening.

"I guarantee this will be a highlight of their patriotic experience, especially in these times when our country seems to be moving away from patriotism," Perkins said.

"It's so important to remember our veterans and remember our country and to remember what the independence of America is about."

The music for "In God We Still Trust" was written by David Clydesdale. Bonnie Kirchoff of Dallas choreographed the performance.

"When I first heard this music, I recognized it was some of the most powerful patriotic music I had really ever heard," Perkins said. "I wanted to do this because I feel our military folks are not recognized enough for the sacrifices they have made and the time they spent securing the freedoms we so much enjoy."

He noted one of the songs specifically recognizes the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, while some of the songs are "very entertaining and exciting.

"Some of the songs create a lot of emotion – even our choir members weep through one of the songs because it has such an emotional impact," Perkins said.

Kirchoff, a personal friend of the Perkins family, is a professional who has choreographed FBC youth choir programs in the past.

"Bonnie does many TV commercials, Miss America pageants and a lot of corporate presentations," Perkins said.

A children's choir directed, by Pam Boyce and Sondra Ainsworth, will also perform with the adult choir.

FBC will recognize all military personnel during the program, and Perkins requests veterans and active servicemen and women who plan to attend to call the church office, 903-796-7925, by noon Thursday, so their names may be included in the program.

He said the church has already contacted reps from the local American Legion and VFW posts to encourage members to attend.

"Saturday evening there will be a reception following the program to give the community an opportunity to visit with these veterans and tell them how grateful we are for their service," Perkins said.

The free program will be presented in the FBC sanctuary. The church is located on the corner of Hiram and Mill streets.

"Everyone who attends will receive a small gift as a token of appreciation for their attendance," said Perkins.



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