Old Country Church Singing a big success

Published 11:00 pm Monday, November 25, 2013

The only empty seat at the Singing at the Old Country Church Sunday was the one that belonged to the song leader.

John Senn and his wife, Mary, played host to the gathering of those who love the a cappella style singing of the old church hymns.

The Singing at the Old Country Church is traditionally held the Sunday before Thanksgiving and that is the only time the doors of the Old Country Church are opened to the public.

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The tradition began about 12 years ago when the Senns decided to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase the original Hamilton Crossroad Church of Christ building and move it to their property on U.S. Highway 231 south of Brundidge.

“We didn’t know what we were going to use the old church building for but I don’t think that we could use it for a better purpose that singing praises to God,” John Senn said.

And, that’s just what a cappella music is – lifting voices in song.

The congregation or the “choir” at the Old Country Church is made up of those who grew up singing a cappella style and those who are just beginning to “figure it out.”

Clayton Berry grew up the Hamilton Cross Roads Church of Christ.

“Most of the people in the community attended the Church of Christ and it was and is our belief that adding instruments to the voices is not scriptural. When we were growing up, the church had singing schools in the summer and we learned how to sing the different parts. It’s that blending of voices that makes a cappella music so beautiful. It’s the harmony. When you can sing those parts, you don’t need instruments. It’s a spiritual feed you get from the singing and from the words. It’s uplifting.”

Richard Chapman of Brundidge is relatively new to a cappella singing.

“I’d heard about the singings and how much people enjoyed them so I decided to go see what it was all about,” Chapman said. “I’ve been going three years now and look forward to next year.”

Chapman said the harmony is outstanding.

“What I like is the entire congregation is the choir,” he said. “Unlike most places, there’s no accompaniment but the harmony is so good you don’t need it.

“Sometimes, the piano or other instruments drown out the voices. At the Old Country Church, the voices are all that you hear and it is wonderful music.”

Chapman said that he is not familiar with some of the hymns.

“But when you look at the copyright, you know why,” he said. “Some of them are old, old hymns but they all have great meaning and, when they sung a cappella, it’s outstanding harmony. Like nothing you’ll hear anywhere else. I enjoy making a joyful noise along with those who really know how to sing.”