| BME Ends Southern Tour on a High Note
As part of their “Lift Him Up” Spring Tour, BME sang their praises all over the South! In five short days, the BME took nearly 50 students to four venues in three states, and wowed the crowds wherever they went.
Members of BME enjoying their Spring Tour
However, before the tour began, things weren’t looking so positive. Rehearsals weren’t going smoothly and plans weren’t falling into place. Student Director Lamont Hill was nervous. Hill, who also serves as the Vice President of the group, was in charge of coordinating a show at his home church, Word of Deliverance Church, in Cincinnati, OH. During the planning process, Hill expressed his concerns to church member Danisha Burnett, who reassured him and reminded of the importance of the see-saw. “She said that even when things are going bad that God will show us what to do,” he says. “We just had to ‘see’ what God already ‘saw.’”
That “faith principle,” as Hill calls it, inspired his fellow singers as they kicked off the tour on Friday March 31 in Cincinnati, and set the tone for the rest of the trip.
After a powerful performance at Word of Deliverance, the group reassembled in Berea the next morning and headed west to Cadiz, KY. That night, BME took the stage at Trigg County High School, the alma mater of BME members Demetrius Russell, Sherita Walker, and Leah Drennan. Decked out in blue and white, the group let loose and lifted him up with an unparalleled passion that the audience couldn’t help but notice. “They were impressed with the fervor of the choir,” says Dr. Kathy Bullock, Director of BME. “They were amazed with the students’ openness and freedom of expression. Our energy and joy were infectious!”
Bright and early Sunday Morning, the ensemble made its way to the heart of Music City to perform as part of the morning service at 15th Avenue Baptist Church in Nashville. After a lot of traveling and just a little bit of sleep, the choir still brought the house down and had the congregation dancing in the aisles.
That evening, the group performed at Ebenezer Baptist in Athens Alabama, the church junior DeAn Watkins calls home. Watkins had hoped that a visit from a young, “Spirit-filled group” like BME would make an impact on the congregation that would radiate beyond the church walls. “We let the Lord use us on that night,” she says. “There has been talk in my town, asking when we’re coming back. Even though the people were not very demonstrative, we blessed them and that was the intention. It was mission accomplished.”
After a hearty cookout on Monday afternoon, the well-fed and well-dressed choir gave their grand finale at Sardis Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL, the home church of BME President Amber Davis and Business Manager Erinn Horton. The members of the ensemble gave it everything they had for the final concert, even filing into the sanctuary to worship with the congregation at the end of the show. Davis was touched by the choir’s sincerity that night and throughout the tour. “I really enjoyed being able to outwardly worship God through song and I loved seeing my peers do the same” she says. “It is not too often that young people feel comfortable to praise God, but we just let it all out, and that was encouraging.”
Junior Melissa Kennedy agrees that the final performance was unique. Kennedy, a Birmingham native and a fan of BME, took time out of her spring break to see the concert. She has attended almost all of BME’s shows since her freshman year, even seeing the group on their spring visit to her home town two years prior. She can attest to the fact that something special happened in Birmingham that night. “One could truly tell their spiritual level had reached an all time high because the majority of the choir was hoarse and could not talk,” she says. “It was a miracle to see them sing like I've never heard them before. I have never clapped so loud or ever sung along with the choir so hard. My voice was hurting!”
As she reflects on the tour, Dr. Bullock believes this recent trip was one of the most “inspiring and uplifting tours” that she has taken during her ten years as the director of BME. Even having traveled with the choir to New York, Washington D.C., Louisiana and other southern states in years past, Bullock knows that this particular trip will be hard to forget. “The choir became one unit in singing, and became so connected,” she says. “God’s Spirit blessed us and those who heard us. It was phenomenal.”