BELFAST — “Quiet on the set! Lights, camera, action!”
These words rang throughout the sanctuary and surrounding area of Belfast Baptist Church in Belfast on Saturday, July 8, as the small country church became the setting for the filming of a new music video by Christian music artist Melanie Walker of Lebanon.
Walker is a popular musical host and Bible teacher on the worldwide TCT Christian Television Network. Through the years, her songs have risen to the upper echelons of the various Christian music charts. The video showcased her latest radio single, “In Jesus’ Name We Pray, Amen! Amen!”
The day-long video shoot was filmed inside the church’s sanctuary and the church’s fellowship house which is located behind the church. The church sits in the heart of the unincorporated town which is four miles south of Lewisburg, TN, on Highway 431 South.
“We were blessed by the Lord to have Melanie choose our church as the setting for her new video,” said Daniel Johnson, pastor of the church. “She is a great artist who has a real heart for the things of the Lord. She always seeks to be excellent in everything she does, because she is doing it — not for her glory — but, for the glory of the Lord.”
Walker said that she chose the church — which was built to be a general store in the early 1900s to serve the once thriving town and community — because it reminded her of the church she grew up attending in southern Illinois.
“I attended Antioch Methodist Church with my grandmother as a child. The people there were loving and poured into my life. It’s where I first met Jesus,” Walker said. “Being at Belfast Baptist transported me back to that time in my life.”
In addition to Walker’s performance, the video will feature her front porch band cast members: Wood Newton; Carl Ray; Lynn Fox; and Johnson. Fox, who is known in the Nashville music industry as the leader of the popular Christian Country band, The Fox Brothers, served as director of the video.
Newton, Ray and Johnson teamed up in August, 2022, in Newton’s office in the famous RCA Building on Music Row in Nashville to write the up tempo, Bluegrass song which was released to radio stations throughout the world on July 7th.
Newton, who is a legendary Nashville artist and songwriter, has written numerous No. 1 Country hits, including “Bobbie Sue” for the Oak Ridge Boys and Kenny Rogers’ “Twenty Years Ago.” Ray is a popular Christian Country artist who has had several No. 1 and Top 5 charted Christian Country songs. Johnson, who became pastor of Belfast Baptist in 2017, has worked in the Nashville music industry in various capacities since arriving in Music City in 1989 and has written six No. 1 Christian Country songs.
“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to record such a great song,” Walker said of ‘In Jesus’ Name We Pray, Amen! Amen!’ “It feels good and has such a meaningful message. It’s one of those songs that gets in your head and then lives in your heart.”
The video featured two families – the Barber Family and the Granato Family, both of Lebanon. Both families attend the same church that Walker attends in Lebanon — Mending Fences Cowboy Church, a Tennessee Baptist congregation.
The video also featured a sanctuary filled with people who volunteered their Saturday afternoon to be a part of the video shoot.
“Between Melanie’s church and our church and others who came, I counted 59 people in the sanctuary,” Johnson said. “It’s the most we’ve had in the sanctuary since I became pastor here.”
He said the church averages about 20 people each Sunday in attendance. “I was grateful that our church had this ministry opportunity,” Johnson said. “I know it was just a video shoot, but we sang and prayed and God’s Word was proclaimed in a unique way. Most importantly, we all felt the presence of the Lord in our sanctuary; so, we had church!” B&R