Faith Briefs Saturday, Dec. 20, featuring Christmas services

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 20, 2014

Annual clothing and small item giveaway 

The annual clothing and small item giveaway sponsored by the Men’s Fellowship of Hall’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Church, is taking place today beginning at 8 a.m. A light lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Hall’s Chapel is located at the corner of S. Clay and E. Monroe Streets at 611 E. Monroe.


‘Silent Night’ at Outreach Christian Ministries

Outreach Christian Ministries Int.,722 W. Horah St., will host a celebration of Christmas entitled “Silent Night” on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m.


Christmas party at St. John AME Zion

MOCKSVILLE — The St. John AME Zion Church trustee/steward board is sponsoring a Christian Christmas party today at the Clemmons Civic Center, 2870 Middlebrook Drive. For ticket info call 336-692-7104.


FUMC Festival of Lessons and Carols

The Stanback Department of Sacred Music of First United Methodist Church. 217 S. Church St., will host its annual Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols Sunday afternoon at 5 p.m.

The service is presented in the same format as the Christmas Eve service held at King’s College, Cambridge, England in 1918, alternating readings from the Bible with carols for choir and congregation.

Joining the Chancel Choir of First Church will be musicians from the Winston-Salem and North Carolina Symphony Orchestras, including brass quintet, organ, harp, oboe and timpani. The service will be officiated by the Rev. Dr. Mark Conforti, senior pastor.

Lectors for the nine lessons will include representatives from current church leadership and benevolent organizations within the greater Salisbury community, including Rowan Helping Ministries, Family Crisis Council and the Salisbury City Council.

The Chancel Choir will be conducted by director of music Matthew Michael Brown and will offer anthems by Carson Cooman, John Rutter, Russell Schulz-Widmar, Leo Nestor, Paul Halley, Barlow Bradford and Franz Biebl’s setting of “Ave Maria” made popular by the San Francisco-based choral ensemble, Chanticleer.

A prelude of music for harp and brass will precede the service at 4:30 p.m. An offering to support the mission of the church’s music department will be received. For information, call 704-636-3121 or visit


Needmore Baptist

WOODLEAF — On Sunday at Needmore Baptist Church, 1620 Mt. Vernon Road, the adult choir will present at the 11 a.m. service the cantata titled “While Angels Watched.”

At 6 p.m., the children and teenw will present the Christmas play, “A Retro Christmas Story,” the Christmas story told from different decades. There will be a cookie fellowship afterwards in the fellowship hall.


Spencer Presbyterian 

SPENCER — The choir of Spencer Presbyterian Church, 113 1st St., will present “Darkness into Light: A Christmas Musical Journey,” a Christmas cantata by Mary McDonald, during 11 a.m. Sunday service. Steve Freeman is choral director. The Rev. Barrie Kirby is pastor. A covered dish dinner in the fellowship hall will follow worship. The church is located across from the entrance to the NC Transportation Museum.


Mt. Moriah Lutheran

CHINA GROVE — Mt. Moriah Lutheran Church’s 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday features the hand bell and chancel choirs, under the direction of Michael J. Kotish, presenting their annual Christmas music program. The children’s department, directed by Janet Parsons, will also offer song selections.

On Christmas Eve, the play “Our Christmas Story” will be presented in the fellowship hall at 6 p.m. and a candlelight Communion service of Carols and Readings will be held in the sanctuary at 9 p.m. Host pastor is Joseph Tallent. The church is located at 750 Mt. Moriah Church Road, 704-857-5034.


Landmark Church 

Landmark Church, 1910 Mooresville Road, will present its Christmas program on Sunday at 6 p.m. The adult choir, under the direction of Mary Williams, will present a cantata titled “Come, Let Us Worship the King,” featuring the youth and children of the church in theatrical presentations depicting the events surrounding Jesus’ birth. The youth and children will also perform several choral selections directed by Katie Zino and assisted by Mica Poteat.

In keeping with a Landmark tradition, old fashioned treat bags will be handed out at the conclusion of the program. A time of fellowship with refreshments will follow in the fellowship hall. For more information call 704-633-8200.


Mount Zion UCC

CHINA GROVE – During the 11 a.m. service Mt. Zion UCC, 1415 S. Main St., will be celebrating Advent with candles and special music. Lighting the Advent Candle of Love will be Jimmy and Betty Corriher and family. Special music will be provided by the chancel choir performing the cantata “The Living Light.”

Christmas Eve will be celebrated at 8 p.m. with traditional candle lighting and a Mt. Zion Love Feast with special music by the Mt. Zion children’s choir and handbell choir.

For more information visit or call 704-857-1169. The Rev. Mark L. Burns is pastor.


Henderson Grove 

Henderson Grove Missionary Baptist Church will present its annual Christmas program on Sunday at 3 pm. The program will feature poetry, praise dances, Christmas music and an original play titled “I See the Light,” written by Brenda Rice McNeely. The Rev. Perry Dye is host pastor.


Pine Ridge Baptist 

CHINA GROVE — There is a change in Sunday’s schedule at Pine Ridge Baptist Church: there will no Sunday school and the worship service will start at 10:30 a.m.

Lunch will be served following the service.

Sunday evening will be the Christmas program starting at 6 p.m.

There is no Wednesday meal or service.

Pine Ridge Baptist Church is located at 880 Old Linn Road.


New Beginning Church of God

CONCORD — The youth of New Beginning will lead Sunday’s service- at Youth Day, beginning at 11 a.m.

The speaker will be Shaniya Hair, daughter of Selina Neal and Elijah Hair, both of Kannapolis

Bishop Gene Roseman is host pastor at New Beginning, 5717 Alexander Road, 704 938-2088.


UMA joint fellowship

The United Ministerial Alliance will host its joint fellowship service at 7 p.m., Sunday at Macedonia Baptist Church, 2865 Enon Church Road. The Rev. Evelyn M. Litaker, interim pastor, is the host. Bishop W. Ronald Hash, Pastor of Love Christian Center, East Spencer, will deliver the message.


Word of Life Family Worship Center 

Word of Life Family Worship Center, 726 E.Liberty St., will have its annual Christmas celebration on Sunday during the 10 a.m. service.

There will be special music by the Christmas Choir under the direction of Mr. Sir Davis.  The children’s ministry will also perform a short play, “Away In A Manager.”  Dr. Martha Starks is the pastor. For transportation or additional information call the church office at 704-633-2431. See or


Longest Night Service

LANDIS — First United Methodist Church, 209 E. Mill St., is hosting a Longest Night service on Sunday at 6 p.m. This is a time for those who may not be feeling the joy of the season to have some quiet reflection and prayer away from the hustle and bustle.


St Matthew’s Lutheran  

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 275 Bringle Ferry Road, will present the following Christmas services:

On Sunday the senior choir and members of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church will present the Christmas cantata based on “The Christmas Story” during the 10:30 a.m. service in the sanctuary.

Sunday evening, the children will present their annual Christmas program, “What is So Great About Christmas,” at 6 p.m. in the family life center.

The Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. will include Holy Communion, the senior choir will present “Night of the Father’s Love” and the handbell choir will present “On This Day Earth Shall Ring.”

On Dec. 28, the 10:30 a.m. service of Lessons and Carols will include biblical readings of the Christmas story with responsive singing of Christmas carols by the congregation.

The Rev. Gary Coble is pastor; Beverly Ludwig is director of music ministries; Peggy Hoffner is organist. For information, call 704-633-3770.


N. Kannapolis Baptist 

KANNAPOLIS — The adult choir of North Kannapolis Baptist Church, 312 Locust St., will present the musical “The Greatest Story of All” on Sunday during the morning worship service at 10:45 a.m.

The children’s choir and cast of North Kannapolis will present the musical “It All Happened in the Country” on Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in McMurray Hall.

A candlelight Christmas Eve service of communion will be held on Wednesday at 10 p.m.

Call 704-933-2125 for additional information.


Sandy Ridge  AME Zion

LANDIS — Sandy Ridge AME Zion Church will present the Christmas program “A Soulful Christmas” on Sunday at 6:30 p.m., featuring musical selections, oral recitations and a liturgical dance presentation by members of the church family, including children, youth and adults.

The program will begin with a candlelight procession, followed by Christmas melodies by the children, the Conception of Jesus foretold, the Birth of Jesus, the Shepherds worshipping the Saviour and the Magi bringing gifts. Kelly Hester will narrate.

This year’s program is dedicated in honor of all young African-American males in school and in the military, and to the families of all deceased young black males near and far.

Janet Murdock, assitant minister of music and Melissa Barrett, co-director of children are the program coordinators.

The Stewardess Board No. 1 will display Lights of Love luminaries around the church grounds during the program, in memory of and in honor of family members, friends, and loved ones and symbolizing Jesus, the Light of the World.

Rev. Clarence J. Shuford is pastor.


Trinity Presbyterian

The senior choir of Trinity Presbyterian Church USA will present its annual Christmas cantata titled “Bethlehem’s Child,” on Sunday at 4 p.m. The cantata is arranged by Victor C. Johnson and Lloyd Johnson. Featured soloists are Monica Green, David Boger and Guam Reid. Narration will be provided by the Rev. Olen Bruner and Alfreda Brenda Cowan. The accompanist is Justin P. Snyder. Cassandra Moore Brown is the choir president, Tanya Dixon-Neely is the interim minister of music and Rev. Bruner is the pastor.


South China Grove Baptist

CHINA GROVE — On Sunday at 11 a.m. the sanctuary choir will present the cantata “He Is Here,” written by Dennis and Nan Allen.

At 4:30 p.m. there will be a covered dish meal in the SCGBC family life center, followed at 6 p.m. by the children’s Christmas program.

The church is located at 501 Haney St. (off Thom St. between Highway 29 and Main St.). For more information call 704-857-3611.


First UCC

Pastor Carol Hallman of First United Church of Christ, 207 West Horah St., will lead the 11 a.m. Advent service on Sunday, titled “Carol Our Christmas: O Little Town of Bethlehem.” Matthew Newton is director of the chancel choir and Susan Trivette is organist.

The Advent Candle of Love will be lit with special litany led by the Mark Shuping family.

At 6 p.m. the children of First UCC, assisted by the older youth, will present a Christmas pageant.

For information call 704-633-2723.


Immanuel Lutheran

ROCKWELL —  Since 1981, Immanuel Lutheran, 2070 Emanuel Church Road, has hosted an annual Birthday for Christ Party following the children’s musical program, and this year the congregation will do so again on Sunday at 7p.m.

Mary and Joseph will light candles on Jesus’ birthday cake while members and visitors bring gifts to the manger in honor of their birthday months.

Instead of bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, the “party goers” will bring socks, candies, lotions, blankets, slippers and an assortment of other gifts. On Monday, Immanuel elves will deliver the hundreds of gifts to the elves at Trinity Oaks Health and Rehab Center.

This year’s program is about a family of shepherds finding their heritage in the Christmas story with lead roles portrayed by Hydee Benfield, Emma Capano, Israel Deal, Alex Freeman, Mack Freeman, Annabelle Humes, Haley James, Payton Karns, Michaela Karriker, Austin Page, Hayden Stiller, Logan Stiller, Callie Trexler, Kayla Trexler and Susie Trexler. The musical is directed by Amie Capano and Christy Trexler.

Following the service, all are invited to feast on the birthday cake. A jolly soul in a red suit may just appear, too.


St. Paul’s Lutheran

“Believe” will be presented today and Sunday at 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 205 St. Paul’s Church Road.

It’s ten days before Christmas, and 15 year old Alex Norton is struggling. He’s always loved Christmas, but the shine has left his favorite holiday. He sees Christmas as nothing more than an overhyped, greedy, present grabbing time of the year. Where is the peace in this season that’s supposed to be all about the Prince of Peace? Alex wants to believe in something…but what? Reluctantly, he participates in “Project Christmas” at his church, where members of his youth group are preparing items for the homeless. First, we get a glimpse of the younger children’s adorable Christmas pageant rehearsal in the church sanctuary, including a child as headless donkey, little angels bickering over who’s the lead angel, and a herd of adorable sheep complaining about their itchy wool costumes. Still not warming up to the season, Alex is finally convinced by Angela, a friend, who Alex discovers is homeless, to realize that everything comes to pass. Alex learns that if you work to make this world a brighter better place, the peace grows. “It doesn’t help to curse the darkness, it only helps when you light a candle. That’s what God did for us that lovely, silent night.”

Filled with warmth and laughter, this Christmas play features carols of the season and a cast of members of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.

A reception will follow Sunday’s night presentation. Admission is free and a love offering will be collected at both presentations. All proceeds collected will assist in offsetting the cost of this large scale production. DVD’s will be $5 each and available upon request following each presentation.

The Service of Lessons & Carol program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church is Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

Dating back to the early 1900s this worship service has become a tradition among Protestant churches worldwide. Using various Scriptures, this service tells of the purpose and story of Jesus’ birth including the Isaiah’s prophecy of a Savior and the fulfillment of the prophecy according to St. John’s Gospel. The original service included nine lessons. An abbreviated seven lessons was adapted to better fit Sunday morning worship settings.

Following the presentation, members of St. Paul’s congregation will present seven Scripture lessons followed by a carol or special music presented by the senior choir, men’s choir, women’s choir, The Bells of St. Paul’s handbell choir, with an appearance by the children’s choir and youth choir #SWAG. The carols will also feature a wind quintet and concert percussion to accompany the ensembles.


First Presbyterian Salisbury

First Presbyterian Church Salisbury, at the corner of S. Fulton and W. Innes Streets, will host a musical program led by the children and youth on Sunday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. in Lewis Hall.


Sills Creek AME Zion

MOORESVILLE — The annual Christmas musical program held in memory of the late Rev. F. L. Cornelius will be held Sunday at Sills Creek AME Zion church, 3165 Bradshaw Road. The program will start at 3 p.m. Various groups are invited to attend. The Rev. Morgan Glenn is host pastor.


South China Grove Baptist

CHINA GROVE — A Christmas celebration at South China Grove Baptist Church includes the following activities on Sunday:

At 11 a.m. the sanctuary choir will present the cantata “He Is Here,” written by Dennis and Nan Allen;

At 4:30 p.m. is a covered dish meal in the SCGBC family life center;

At 6 p.m. is the children’s Christmas program.

The church is located at 501 Haney St., off Thom St. between Highway 29 and Main St., 704-857-3611.


First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church (corner of S. Fulton St. and W. Innes) will celebrate the fourth Sunday of Advent with three services: Sanctuary at 8:30 and 11 a.m. and Lewis Hall at 8:50 a.m. The Advent Gathering begins at 9:15 a.m. in the fellowship hall and Sunday School at 10 a.m., which includes a Happy Birthday Jesus celebration for elementary age children.

In the evening, the children will present their Christmas program in Lewis Hall at 7 p.m.

On Christmas Eve, First Presbyterian will offer four different services:

Noon, sanctuary – Service of Communion;

5 p.m., Lewis Hall – Contemporary Christmas Eve service;

7 p.m., sanctuary – Appalachian Worship service;

9 p.m., sanctuary – Candlelight service; music begins at 8:30 p.m.


More services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day


Holy Cross Lutheran

MOCKSVILLE — The Christmas Eve service at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 1913 US Highway 601 S., , will be held at 7 p.m. on Wednesday. The sermon, “Simple Gifts,” will be presented by the Rev. Susan Bame, pastor.


Resurrection Life

Resurrection Life Church, 216 S. Main St., will conduct a Christmas Eve candlelight communion service at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. For more information, contact Rev. Jerry Snipes at 704-638-0002.


Sacred Heart  Mass schedule 

The Christmas Mass schedule at Sacred Heart Catholic Church includes Masses on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Christmas Eve, 5 p.m., children’s Mass; 7 p.m., Mass; 9 p.m., Mass in Spanish.

Christmas Day, Mass at midnight; 8:30 a.m., Mass in the Extraordinary Form; 10:30 a.m., Mass.

The Rev. John Eckert is pastor; the Rev. Noah Carter is parochial vicar. Dr. Jim Mazur is deacon. Music will be provided by director Flora Lester and the choirs.


First Presbyterian

First Presbyterian Church Salisbury, corner of S. Fulton and W. Innes Streets, will hold services on Christmas eve at noon in the sanctuary: worship with communion;

5 p.m. in Lewis Hall: contemporary service;

7 p.m. in the sanctuary: an Appalachian service;

9 p.m. in the sanctuary, candlelight service. Music begins at 8:30 p.m.


Liberty UMC

GOLD HILL — On Dec. 24 at 7 p.m. is the Christmas play “Jesus — The Christmas Gift” at Liberty United Methodist, 3885 Liberty Road, at Liberty and Stokes Ferry Roads beside Morgan Elementary.

Host pastor is the Rev. Charlie Curtis. Call 704-633-4067 for more information.


Mt. Zion Lutheran 

RICHFIELD — Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 111 E. Church St., will celebrate with a candlelight communion service on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m.

A special service of Lessons and Carols is planned for Sunday, Dec. 28 at 10:30 a.m. Call the church at 704/463-7280 or visit for more information.

Host pastor is Ruth Ann Sipe, 704-463-7280.


St. Paul’s Lutheran

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 205 St. Paul’s Church Road, will hold two Christmas Eve sServices on Wednesday, one at 7 p.m. and one at 11 p.m. in the sanctuary. These services will have music, scriptures, message, a candlelight service and Holy Communion.


First UCC

Pastor Carol Hallman will lead the 7 p.m. candlelight service at First United Church of Christ, 207 W/ Horh St., on Dec. 24 with a sermon titled “Carol Our Christmas: Silent Night.” A service of Holy Communion will be observed.

Organist Susan Trivette will begin the service with a 20 minute prelude of Christmas selections. Chancel choir conductor Matthew Newton will lead carols of the season.

The Christ Candle will be lit with special litany led by the Greg Alcorn family.

A Christmas Eve reception is in the fellowship hall following the service.

The Rev. Dr. Ken Clapp will lead the worship service on Sunday, Dec. 28.


Union Lutheran

Union Lutheran Church, 4770 Bringle Ferry Road, will hold a Christmas Eve service at 9 p.m. The Candlelight service of Holy Communion will begin with a prelude of handbell and organ music presented by the Elementary Handbell Choir, the Youth Handbell Choir, the Belles and Beaus Handbell Choir and Pat Miller, organist. During the service, the Elementary and Youth Vocal Choirs will sing the Gospel Processional, Hodie Christus Natus Est, (today Christ is born).  The Senior Choir will present the American Carol, “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head” accompanied by the handbells and organist.

The service will conclude with the lighting of individual candles and the singing of Silent Night followed by the congregational carol, Joy to the World, proclaiming the birth of Christ.

On Sunday, Dec. 28, the Service of Lessons and Carols will be presented. Nine lessons will be read, each followed by a musical offering. Anthems will include the Provencal Carol, the Basque Carol, The American Carol “I Wonder as I Wander”, and “For Unto Us a Child is Born” from Handel’s Messiah.  The Belles and Beaus will ring an arrangement of “Angels From the Realms of Glory.  The congregation will also join in singing familiar carols during the service.

Rev. David Nuottila is pastor, Pat Miller serves as organist, and. Dawn Merrell is interim choir director.


S. China Grove UMC

CHINA GROVE — South China Grove United Methodist Church will have its annual Christmas Devotions on Christmas Day from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. People are encouraged to “come as you are” for this very informal time of devotion. If you feel so inclined, bring along a Christmas memory, poem, reading, or something special to share with the group. The church is located at 230 Rose Ave. Dr. S. B. “Doc” Warner is pastor.


Hall’s Chapel Primitive Baptist 

The Hall’s Chapel Primitive Baptist Senior Missionary will hold an Everybody’s Birthday Party Program, “Celebrating Jesus,” on Dec. 28 at 3 p.m. Deborah Stinson of the Saint John’s Primitive Baptist Church in Charlotte will be the guest speaker. Elder Richard Johnson is host pastor.


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