Recently I had the opportunity to be in the chapel at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary to hear our Jubalheirs, Georgia Baptist Singing Women, singing in concert at the 8th Annual Crescent City Praise. The concert came at the conclusion of a week of ministry in which our Jubalheirs were all over the city of New Orleans participating in various ministries to bring comfort, friendship and help to people of many varied needs. From the testimonies that I heard that evening, I knew that our Jubalheirs had a great impact on the city of New Orleans and on the local churches.
It was my privilege that night to present a check on behalf of the Georgia Baptist Mission Board to assist the Suburban Baptist Church that sustained significant loss in a recent tornado. Pastor Dr. Jeffery Friend and his wife, Stephanie, were present to receive the check. Dr. Friend gave me a long embrace as he wept with gratitude. In that moment, I knew he was hugging Georgia Baptists and saying thank you for caring for Suburban Baptist Church in their time of need.
The Crescent City Praise event is patterned after the much-acclaimed Prom Praise event that occurs in London each year. Dr. Greg Woodward and Kathy Duren, a member of the Jubalheirs, helped present a Georgia Baptist version of Prom Praise during their tenure at Truett McConnell College. Known as Mountain Praise it became a greatly anticipated event among the churches in North Georgia.
Crescent City Praise which this year featured the Jubalheirs has increasingly become a hallmark of the worshipping community in the greater New Orleans area. It was a great crowd that evening as the chapel at New Orleans Seminary was filled with what Dr. Chuck Kelley, president of the seminary, told me was the best crowd in his memory. According to Dr. Woodward this event allows the seminary and local church choirs to present some of the great church anthems in a manner that would not be possible with any single entity. More importantly, this event allows the worshipping community to join with one voice in presenting music that transcends style and generational boundaries.
For me one of the most inspiring moments in the evening was when the leaders of the various social ministry groups in New Orleans came forward and expressed their appreciation for our Jubalheirs who had ministered among them so effectively in the preceding week. Our ladies were wonderfully impacted as well and many of them told me that they would love to be able to stay longer and do more work. They fell in love with the wonderful ministry opportunities all across the city.
Our Sons of Jubal and Jubalheirs under the leadership of Dr. Jon Duncan are more than performing choirs, they are ministry teams of faithful Georgia Baptists who love the Lord and take the Gospel with them wherever they go. Every year they are on mission for Christ somewhere in the world making a difference, pointing people to the Savior and leading people to faith in Jesus Christ.