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franklin county times

Singing Christmas Tree tradition is all for the glory of God

By Staff
SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE Franklin Denham directs the 97-member choir and orchestra of the 18th Annual Singing Christmas Tree at Highland Baptist Church on Friday night. Performances continue through Sunday. PHOTO BY CARISA MCCAIN / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
Dec. 7, 2002
For 18 years Helen Stubbs has taken her place on the Singing Christmas Tree each holiday season at Highland Baptist Church.
She and her husband, Billy, are two of nine choir members who have participated in the tradition since it began.
Performances of the 18th Annual Singing Christmas Tree began Thursday and will continue today and Sunday at Highland Baptist Church, 3400 27th St. Performance times are 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Admission is free.
The choir knows the program touches others because of testimonials written to them by people who come to see it. Franklin Denham, minister of music at the church and founder of the singing Christmas tree, shares some of the messages with the choir before each performance.
She said Denham reminds the choir before their performance that they are doing it "all for the glory of God."
Denham said people often say they don't feel like the Christmas season has officially begun until they attend the singing Christmas tree performance each year. Many times he has received the types of testimonials Stubbs talked about.
Scaffolding for the 35-foot structure the choir performs on was designed by Highland Baptist church member Doug Neal, a professional structural steel detailer. It is built to hold 107 singers weighing as much as 250 pounds each.
The electrical controls, using 14,000 watts for the decorative lights, were designed by another church member, Tom McDaniel, owner of Industrial Electric Motor Works.
Stubbs, owner of Reflections of the Modern Garden, was in charge of the tree's decorations.