NEW YORK (BP) — The choir from newly elected Southern Baptist Convention President Steve Gaines’ pastorate sang the Gospel alongside Elvis hits in New York’s Times Square on Fox TV today (June 20) in advance of their concert tonight at Carnegie Hall.
An Elvis impersonator with the choir said the Memphis, Tenn., group loves to sing of “the King.”
“We always want to sing about the King,” said the impersonator, one of two Bellevue choir members who impersonated the rock star on the live broadcast of Fox & Friends just before 9 a.m. Eastern Time. “So, most times we sing about Jesus, sometimes we sing about Elvis. Whatever draws people closer to Jesus, man, that’s what we’re about.”
About two-thirds of the 250-member choir and 45 members of the orchestra are on a week’s mission trip in New York under choir director Mark Blair’s leadership. Tonight’s concert will feature Grammy-nominated and Dove Award-winning Gospel artist Natalie Grant in her Carnegie Hall debut, Grant has noted on her website.
Gaines, elected SBC president June 15 at the St. Louis annual meeting, will give his Christian testimony at the Carnegie Hall concert, Bellevue Baptist Church director of communications Jim Barnwell told Baptist Press. Gaines will preach June 21 at Brooklyn Tabernacle during a 7 p.m. service featuring the Bellevue choir, Barnwell said, with both events planned months before Gaines’ SBC election.
At Carnegie Hall, the Bellevue choir will sing selections from two of its published choir books and corresponding CDs “Holding On to You” and “Praise His Name” from Prism Music, with arrangements by Josh Stewart, who also arranged 10 selections Grant will perform at the event.
During Fox & Friends, Bellevue member Hannah Tetmeyer led the choir in a rendition of “Say Amen.”
“Yes there are bad things that happen, but God is greater,” Tetmeyer told Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt. “God is more powerful than anything that can ever come against us.”
A Bellevue Baptist Church member praised God as Tetmeyer and the choir sang in Times Square.
“We’ve all walked through the fire, and it’s just been fabulous to know we’re not alone. We can do anything with Christ,” the man told Earhardt. “We’ve got a pastor that preaches the Bible, and there’s no joking about it,” the man said of Gaines.
“We know exactly where we need to be, we know Who is with us, and He [Jesus Christ] is with us every Sunday when we walk in that church.”
In an earlier June 19 event, the choir sang in an outdoor concert and community outreach with a new church plant in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the Living Water Church.
A total of 280 Bellevue members and friends made the trip, Barnwell said.