Cowart family sings together, prays together, stays together

Published 3:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2018

The theme for the Cowart Family Choir Day Celebration at Bethel A.M.E. Church in Goshen Sunday was taken from Psalm 104:33: I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.

No scripture could have been more appropriate.

Alice Mae Cowart, the family matriarch, has been singing unto the Lord since she was old enough to make a melodious sound.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

And it was her voice and the voices of her six daughters and son and the grandchildren and ‘the greats” that filled Bethel Church Sunday afternoon.

The Cowart Family Choir entered the church singing. One after another they came – the daughters and their children and the son and his family – to take their places in the choir loft of the historic church.

Lucille Youngblood, mistress of ceremony, set the tone for the celebration, “Clap your hands; tap your feet; dance like David.”

And, there was, for a while, singing among the members of the congregation. Then, a member of the congregation said in a soft whisper, but one that wafted through the church, “Let us sit quiet and let the choir sing.”

And sing the choir did, pausing only for the Cowart children to share what it means to them to have grown up in a godly home where singing praises to God was as natural as taking the next breath.

The oldest daughter said she couldn’t remember the first time she sang.

“I was a little bitty girl,” she said. “It has always been a blessing to hear my mother sing. It’s always been a blessing to sing with my sisters and my brother. It’s still a blessing and added to that blessing are our children and grandchildren.”

One after the other, the daughters and granddaughters shared what it means to be a part of a Christian family and especially one that sings together.

Leo Cowart, Alice Mae Cowart’s only son and the youngest child, said he was not sure that he could sing with such feeling, with such soulful voices as his mother and sisters.

“But I couldn’t be scared,” he said. “I just got on my knees and talked to the man up stairs.”

He and his oldest sister sang together and their voices filled the church with perfect harmony.

Upon request, Alice Mae Cowart made her way from the back row of the choir to the front of the church.

“I’m blessed to be able to sing,” she said. “God has blessed me that way. He has blessed me with a family that sings and it has been a blessing for us to sing together. When we get together, we sing and it fills my heart with such joy.”

Alice Mae Cowart said God has looked beyond her wants and given her what she needs.

“God can open doors that have been shut to us,” she said. “And, He can shut doors that we have opened so that they can’t be opened again.”

Cowart said that life’s journey is not without trials and tribulations but a family that prays together and sings together will weather life’s storms and find the peace that passes all understanding.

“God has richly blessed me and He keeps on blessing me,” she said. “When we sing those old spiritual songs, I’m showered with blessings.”