His Hands Extended to hold annual patriotic celebration at 1st Baptist
by DAVID DAVIS, Managing Editor
Jun 23, 2013 | 692 views | 0 0 comments | 44 44 recommendations | email to a friend | print
His Hands Extended’s 4th of July Freedom Celebration returns to the First Baptist Church at 1275 Stuart Road.

The singing begins at 10 a.m. on July 4 featuring the Voices of Lee, directed by Danny Murray, the First Baptist Choir, directed by Tyler Brinson, and First Baptist Orchestra, conducted by Jim Burton.

The annual celebration has grown since Max Morris and the World Wide Prayer Partners started it 14 years ago.

“It has become a tradition in Cleveland,” Murray said. “For about an hour and 30 minutes, we will have a great time of celebrating our freedom.”

Local veterans will lead the Pledge of Allegiance and Dr. Andrea Dismukes will perform the “Star Spangled Banner” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” Max Morris will host the event.

“At the end of the program, we’ll put the choir, orchestra and Voices together and do a finale,” Murray said. “It’s a moving morning of inspirational and patriotic music. It’s a great time for people to come out and celebrate our freedom.”

He said the program begins promptly at 10 a.m. and everyone will be out by noon.

“It doesn’t take up the whole day. It’s a late morning kind of thing. It’s a chance for everyone to come together and give a big shout out for America,” he said.

An estimated 1,100 people packed the First Baptist Church for a Fourth of July morning of praise and patriotism in 2012. The spacious church on Stuart Road is a long way from the former Pathway Bookstore where the first three or four were held.

From there, the gospel singing event moved to the Cleveland High School commons area for a short while before journeying to the gymnasium at Peerless Road Church.

Along with the new location to Stuart Road, the musical venue changed from a variety of Southern Gospel groups to praise and worship songs performed by the First Baptist Church choir accompanied by the church orchestra, and the a cappella renderings of the Voices of Lee.

Morris said in 2012 the basic group is always Danny Murray and the Voices of Lee.