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Event brings church choirs, communities together

Oct. 13, 2012 @ 12:29 AM

HUNTINGTON -- When Teresa Figgins found herself facing death about seven years ago, she said she leaned on her faith.

"I was bleeding internally, and the doctors weren't finding it," she said. "I knew I was dying, and, as a Christian woman, I was preparing myself for death."

Figgins said she was blessed her doctors were able to find the source of the bleeding in time to save her life, and she said the brush with death was what led her to find inspiration in starting the Unity in the Community Choir program, which kicked of its seventh annual weekend of concerts Friday night at Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Huntington.

Figgins, who is the musical minister at the church, said the event is best explained by its theme scripture from Psalm 133: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for bretheren to dwell together in unity!"

The event is free and open to the public, regardless of denomination, which is what Figgins said contributes to its success.

"It's important for the community to see unity among its churches because that is how we spread hope," she said. "It's about lifting the name of Jesus through song, which is powerful, but it cannot replace the word of God, and that is what we want people to find when they come here."

Each event is held at one of 13 different participating churches each year, and the first night of the two-night event is reserved for testimonials and a few songs. Figgins said it is up to each host church to set the tone of each event.

Marie Murphy, musical minister at Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, where her husband, Franklin Murphy is the pastor, said she hopes to see the event become one which spans throughout the entire city.

"One thing that I think we tend to forget is that one of the main reasons to come to church is for fellowship," Murphy said. "This is something that all churches of all denominations and ethnicities can come to for a wonderful experience as a community in which we all worship in the same Christ."

The Unity in the Community Choir concert will continue with a class at 9 a.m. Saturday at the church, located at 1757 10th Avenue, on music and singing from a biblical point of view, with the concert later that evening at 6 p.m.

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