Worshipping: a year after Front Street bus tragedy
    November 4 2014 by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor

    Six members of Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville were killed Oct. 2, 2013, in a three-vehicle accident 30 miles east of Knoxville, Tenn. Two others were killed and another 12 were injured. Front Street Baptist’s Young at Heart senior group was driving home from a conference in Gatlinburg when a tire blew out on their bus.
     
    In a blog post a few weeks after the traumatic event, Kenny Lamm wrote, “The 18 people on board were all very good friends of mine – many very close friends. … I had served on staff at Front Street Baptist Church for 23 years before coming to my position at the Baptist State Convention, and many of these dear people had shared life with my family most or all of those years, celebrating births, mourning with us in deaths, helping us raise and disciple our son and daughter, and ministering beside us in local, domestic and international missions. Now we knew that some of them were gone and others were in critical condition.”

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    Contributed photo
    Doris Swain, a member of Front Street Baptist Church who was involved in the 2013 accident, was told by doctors she might lose her hand. On. Oct. 6 she played during the celebration.

     

    Lamm, senior consultant of worship and music for the Baptist State Convention, said that some of the leadership from the N.C. Baptist Singers & Orchestra came to him around February and asked if they could dedicate a night of worship to Front Street.
     
    A Mighty Fortress is Our God” became the theme for the anniversary service Oct. 6 at Western Avenue Baptist Church in Statesville.
     
    Lamm said the songs were intentionally chosen to speak of God’s faithfulness and His sustaining power. The N.C. Baptist Singers & Orchestra are predominately comprised of North Carolina worship leaders and pastors. These 135 members present sacred music that is representative of many styles. 
     
    The music and production of this event was very specific to the people involved in the bus accident, said Lamm. Every survivor attended the event, and those who died in the accident had family representing them.
     
    One young lady whose mother died in the accident approached Lamm and said she honestly didn’t look forward to the event.
     
    But, she told Lamm, “I want you to know I’ve cried more tonight than on the anniversary date, but after tonight I am able to put this behind me and move on with my life.” She confessed to Lamm that God had worked through that service to release her. Lamm said he believes the highlight of the night came with “No More Night,” a song about eternal worship. Eighty additional singers from Western Avenue and Front Street choirs joined the N.C. Baptist Singers & Orchestra. Doris Swaim, who was injured in the accident along with her husband, was told by doctors a year ago that she might lose her hand. Even though she didn’t, Lamm said, “She played magnificently with full orchestra – 200 people going together at one time. It was rapturous. It was such an emotional time for everybody, and the congregation was equally pulled into that.”
     
    Tim Stutts, senior pastor of Front Street Baptist Church in Statesville, said the concert was an incredibly moving and meaningful time of worship. He said, “Over the last year, Front Street has experienced an outpouring of God’s grace. He has brought comfort in the midst of our grief and strength to those recovering from injuries sustained in the tragedy.”
     
    He said the concert greatly impacted the members of Front Street that night: “It was a time to remember, a time to heal and a time to worship. It meant so much for our church to worship alongside those who have consistently prayed for us and ministered to us over this past year. … We are forever grateful for the many ways the body of Christ has supported us through this time. Our prayer is that God would use this tragedy to point people to Him.”
     
    Individuals from Front Street who died and remembered that night were: Cloyce Matheny, Brenda Smith, Marsha McLelland, Barbara Morrison, Randy Morrison and John Wright.

    11/4/2014 11:57:42 AM by Michael McEwen, BR Content Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: bus accident, Front Street




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