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Three churches meet
for services and fun

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Three churches meet
for services and fun


BIG SANDY, Texas--Three congregations--the Church of God International, Tyler Sabbath Fellowship and Church of God Big Sandy--combined on Jan. 2, 2010, for a church service and other activities.

The Church of God Big Sandy (CGBS), which usually plans its annual Family Fellowship Weekend for this time of the year, instead played host to the jointly sponsored event in its building just west of town.

"Although many people wanted to see this idea come to fruition, the planning for this activity was undertaken by Charles Groce [president of the Church of God International], Gary Woodring [elder in the Tyler Sabbath Fellowship] and myself," said Dave Havir, pastor of the CGBS.

A roadblock called denial

The schedule began with three seminars. At 1 p.m. Mr. Havir gave a seminar titled "A Roadblock Called Denial."

At 1:30 Mr. Woodring gave his seminar, "How Did Jesus Redeem the Elect From the Realm of Death?" At 2 o'clock Mr. Groce gave a seminar titled "People of Conscience."

The church service, beginning at 3, featured much special music. Summer Mouland of Phoenix, Ariz., sang, and the Tulsa Fellowship Choir, directed by Ray Kurr of Mounds, Okla., performed four selections.

The sermon in the church service was by guest speaker Dennis Mouland, also of Phoenix. His discourse was "One Nail at a Time." His daughter, Summer, sang a song at the end of his sermon.

After the church service the audience enjoyed a potluck meal at tables set up in the hall. A buzz was in the air as people enjoyed the fellowship with the three groups.

At 6:30 a family variety show began, with Mr. Havir as emcee. The sound technicians were Andrew McIver and David Havir III, and the stage manager was Neil McIver.

Take me fishing

Here is a list of the performers during the first half of the show:

  • Kim Skelton of White Oak sang a vocal solo, "All I Ask of You."
  • Mara Bara and Rex Handsome (also known as Paula and Bernie Monsalvo) gave a dance presentation.
  • Duane Giles of Palestine sang "Daddy, Won't You Take Me Fishing?" He accompanied himself on the guitar.
  • David Fisher of Pritchett performed a short comedy routine.
  • Maria Velasco of Gladewater sang "Siboney."
  • Jack Mitchell of Tyler told a few stories.
  • Wynn Skelton of White Oak sang a vocal solo, "What Am I Doing Here?" He accompanied himself on the guitar.

Dancing fool

  • As a surprise to Mr. McIver, Mr. Havir showed a video of Mr. McIver dancing on stage at a show in Branson, Mo., last summer. He had accompanied a group of members from the CGBS to Branson and had ended up on stage during a show.

Later Mr. Havir told The Journal: "Apparently what happened in Branson did not stay in Branson. It would have been a shame for the rest of the congregation to have missed Neil's dancing."

  • The Tulsa Fellowship Choir performed a skit titled "The Mississippi Squirrel" and then sang "Hallelujah."

Here is the list of performers after a short intermission:

  • Miss Mouland sang two songs, "Angel" and "Are You Ready?"
  • Clay Forrestier of Gladewater and his 5-year-old daughter Grace performed a mock infomercial.
  • Stan West of Big Sandy recited "Mood-Ring Eyes," a poem he wrote as a surprise for his wife, Roxanna.
  • Wayne Woodring of Tyler sang two vocal solos. They were "If My Nose Was Running Money" and "Things You Don't Say to Your Wife." He accompanied himself on the guitar.
  • The Tulsa Fellowship Choir performed two songs. They were "If The Lord Had Not Been On Our Side" and "Through the Fire."

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