Title: Convention opens celebration on high note
Music, prayer and camaraderie filled Warner Auditorium Friday night as the 114th International Convention of the Church of God began. More than 6,000 conventioners braved rain and thunder to join with Dr. James L. Edwards, president of Anderson University, Robert Pearson, general director of Church of God Ministries and several musical friends in an opening service that organizers titled "A Celebration of Servanthood."
The living church is a serving church," Anderson University President Dr. James Edwards wrote in the program for the event.
Carrie Cripe, 16, of Anderson attends North Anderson Church of God and is a student at Highland High School. She performed in the service as a member of the choir.
"It is wonderful to be a part of something where everyone is focused on the same thing -- Jesus Christ!" she said moments before the service started.
After the crowd was led in singing hymns, Edwards gave the invocation.
Then Robert Pearson, general director of the Church of God Ministries, rose to speak.
The theme for this year's convention is "Picture the Possibilities." Pearson explained that this week church leaders hope to use the parables of Christ to provide attendees glimpses on how the church can grow.
"Each parable is a picture," he said. "And with each we hope to picture the possibilities."
He also outlined the events that are scheduled for the week saying that those attending will be treated to a smorgasbord of religious presentations and activities.
For the rest of the service, the audience was treated to music from a 250-person choir, the group Image, Marc Clarke, Kim Tabor and other Christian vocalists.
Paul Baylor is a reporter for the Anderson Herald-Bulletin.