Raleigh church cheers for 'Idol' contestant
April 17 2003 by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor

Raleigh church cheers for 'Idol' contestant | Thursday, April 17, 2003

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Raleigh church cheers for 'Idol' contestant

By Steve DeVane BR Managing Editor

Members of Leesville Baptist Church in Raleigh have a new routine after Bible Study on Wednesday nights - they watch a television show.

The show is American Idol. One of their own is among the finalist on the national program with a recording contract going to the winner.

Clay Aiken, a member of the church who has sang at the church often, is among the final six contestants on the Fox network show.

Roger Shuford, the church's pastor, said members usually gather in the church fellowship hall or at the home of Aiken's mother, Faye Parker, on Wednesday's to see if Aiken made it through to the next round.

The show airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

On Tuesdays the contestants perform and are critiqued by the show's judges. Immediately after the show, toll-free phone lines are open for two hours to allow viewers to cast votes for their favorite contestants.

"Everybody watches on Tuesday night," Shuford said. "My wife and I take turns voting."

On Wednesdays, the contestant who received the lowest number of votes is eliminated from the competition.

Shuford said the church has been supportive of Aiken's participation on the show. Information about him is posted on the church's web site at www.leesvillebaptist.com.

Shuford said Aiken was singing at the church since he was a little boy. He was singing every few months before he became a contestant on American Idol. Aiken is a student at UNC-Charlotte.

"He just amazes us all," Shuford said.

He said Aiken's mother has asked for the church to pray that God will keep him close.

"We're very thankful for his talent," Shuford said. "We're confident that God will get the glory."

Shuford said he thinks Aiken will at least make it into the final two contestants.

"It's amazing to watch him," Shuford said. "When he feels a song you can see it all over his face.

"He's an awesome young man."

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4/17/2003 12:00:00 AM by Steve DeVane , BR Managing Editor | with 0 comments
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