God and Country blesses Wilsonville

Wilsonville Baptist Church and the town of Wilsonville sponsored the God and Country event June 26.

This wonderful program had a 21–gun solute, and several inspirational guest speakers. A bagpipe player filled the town with harmony and music during this touching ceremony, too.

God and Country is held annually this time of the year. Some of the people responsible for organizing God and Country are Pastor Steve Thomas, Music Minister Cory Cloud and Mayor Rosemary Liveoak. Although Brother Steve humbly stated that most of the credit should be given to Mayor Liveoak and Cory Cloud, they each played a significant role in organizing this amazing event.

It is a very special event of celebration for the community and has taken place for more than 10 years now since it first began in 1996.

Thomas explained the original idea of this event was from its founder, Brother Chuck Johnston, who wanted the community to celebrate what God has done for our country and what he has done for each of us individually.

When Pastor Thomas came to WBC in 1997, he continued what Brother Johnston began.

“With the economy like this, I am glad we can still do this. It has grown tremendously every year,” Thomas said.

Thomas thanked many organizations including the Wilsonville Beautification Board for continually working on the area, the Sheriff Department for putting their lives on the line for us on a daily basis, the Fire Department, the town employees, Mayor Liveoak, and the City Council.

Many of the city council were there with their families too. The members are Dennis Blackerby, Calvin Gill, Pat Johnson, E. Lee McCarty III, Terry Newman, Alan Revis, and Melissa Rosetta.

One group represented at God and Country was the Faith Riders. They were all there on their motorcycles, and are a great group of guys with big hearts.

Along with all the wonderful fellowship, many families came to spend time with friends and celebrate summertime together with BBQ, singing, and fireworks.

There were also inflatables for the children to play in, and plenty of free barbeque and drinks for everyone.

The excellent singing was by many children and adult local volunteers as well as Holy Destiny. One of the speakers for the evening was Larry Gibson. He introduced the various singers of which there was a huge line up.

Those who sang included the Southern Gospel Group Gaining Ground with “Soul Filling Station,” Praiz Kids, Lenore Simpson, His Glory Choir No. 1, Louise Gallups, Austin Foster, Johnathan Harris, The Singing Doroughs, Crumpton Drive, The Langnerettes and Holy Destiny.

One of the singers was Mrs. Lenore Simpson. Prior to singing an inspirational solo which was enjoyed by all, Simpson made the crowd aware of some facts which made the war more of a reality to those listening.

Since 2001, the United States has lost 5,519 for freedoms sake, Alabama has lost 95, and within a 50 mile radius of Wilsonville,

Chelsea has lost one soldier, Pelham has lost one soldier, Birmingham has lost five soldiers and Montgomery has lost six.

Mrs. Simpson said that “The reason we can celebrate God and Country is because of the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for this great nation.”

Mrs. Simpson and her husband Mr. Ray Simpson have a son, Captain Tim Simpson, who is currently stationed in Washington and is a Captain for the Navy Reserve.

This event has grown to include most of the churches around town who came together to celebrate God and Country. Invocation was given by Pastor Thomas as well as Pastor Clifton Craft from the United Methodist Church in Wilsonville.

Not only did Wilsonville Baptist Church and the United Methodist Church of Wilsonville participate, but other local churches participated in this event as well.

It included Four Mile Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Wilsonville, Star of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Cline Baptist Church, Bethel Baptist Church, and Lay Lake Baptist Church.

It goes without saying, this was a big event celebrated without omitting the feeling of a small town with friendly people, good food, foot stomping singing from the heart and fellowship that will make you want to linger all evening long.