Singers and musicians from 22 diverse congregations across Central Alabama will gather to present the Sixth Annual Afternoon of Praise to benefit charitable organizations that help those in need. The choir and orchestra have been practicing since February to provide a professional and soul-stirring Afternoon of Praise.
Christian music great Richard Kingsmore will conduct the choir and orchestra, which, at more than 100 strong, fills the stage and orchestra pit to capacity. Both contemporary and traditional Christian music will be showcased.
Two praise experiences will be presented in Talladega’s recently renovated Historic Ritz Theatre on the downtown Square on Sunday, August 19. Times are 2:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., and ticket cost for each is a $20 tax-deductible ticket donation. Tickets are available by calling the Ritz at 256-315-0000, or at First United Methodist Church of Talladega. Make checks payable to First United Methodist Church of Talladega, and note that it is for Afternoon of Praise. All money received from ticket sales will go to The Red Door Kitchen, The Samaritan House and Fresh Start Recovery Ministries.
Afternoon of Praise has become the largest annual contributor to The Red Door Kitchen, which provides a noon meal to more than 100 people in need each weekday. The Samaritan House provides nonperishable food, toiletries, and clothing to those in need. Fresh Start Recovery Ministries provides a Christ-centered and structured reintegration and spiritual development program to men in recovery who need a fresh start in life. As part of the program, the men volunteer their time, talents and labor to support Christian organizations and needs.
Churches represented from the Talladega area include First Baptist Church of Talladega, Bemiston Baptist Church, Central Baptist Church, Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Ridgeview Baptist Church, Southside Baptist Church, Sycamore Baptist Church, Talladega Creek Baptist Church, First Methodist Church of Talladega, Bemiston United Methodist Church, Trinity United Methodist Church and Christ Deliverance Christian Center. Other churches represented include Church of the Highlands (Birmingham and Oxford), Deerfoot Baptist Church Trussville, Episcopal Church of the Ascension Vestavia Hills, First Baptist Church of Trussville, Liberty Church Birmingham, Liberty Crossings/Grace United Methodist Church Birmingham, Munford Baptist Church, St. Mark United Methodist Church Anniston and Simple Church Oxford.
Over the years, the annual praise experience has become an important part of many people’s lives. “I look forward to the Afternoon of Praise every year,” said Tina Wheeler, a high school librarian and vocalist from Talladega. “It is a reunion of my faith friends from many different churches and denominations across this fine city that I call home. I am reminded each year of the goodness and kindness of our citizens—the ones who are a part of this group as well as those who come out to support it each year. It is such a bright spot in my life, and I am thankful for the vision of Susannah and Dave Herring. Their obedience to be the hands and feet of Jesus each year through this event is inspiring. I am honored to be a small part of it. This is my 6th year to sing with AOP.”
Dr. Frank Buck, a writer, speaker and flutist from Pell City, said, “When people come together to express what's most important to them, music generally winds up being the vehicle through which it happens. Afternoon of Praise is a good example, and I've participated every year since its inception. It inspires both those on the stage and those in the audience. At the same time, it helps three incredibly worthy charities carry on noble work.”
Retired nuclear engineer and bass guitar player Skip Kitchens from Birmingham said, “This year will be my fifth straight opportunity to play in the orchestra for AOP in Talladega. Learning the music and rehearsing with the wonderful choir and orchestra in Talladega is like a long worship service to me. I feel close to God with this music. I love the Herrings! Also, doing something in a small way to help the Red Door Kitchen, Samaritan House and Fresh Start Recovery Ministries makes me proud.”
For more information and daily inspiration, please see the event's Facebook page.