New Hebron Baptist Church

is honored to host the

Piney Woods Singing Convention

Held the fifth Saturday of every summer.

(July 31, 2010)

    Evoking the powerful memories of the past, visitors to New Hebron agree that the church house, furnishings and bucolic setting of the precious fellowship all but require events which tie today's society to history.  Nothing does that any more poignantly than the hosting of an annual singing convention.

    Before the era of radio and television, families took pleasure in the simple things of life from Sunday dinners followed by playing music and singing on the front porch to attending revival meetings and annual singings at many community churches.  Little else evokes nostalgia like the preparation of delicious foods and sweet tea, transporting them in covered dishes and glass jugs in baskets or boxes and spreading the wealth of nourishment on a cloth-covered table and sharing with communal fellowship.

    Early histories of singing conventions evolved as schools to teach the art of singing by sight-reading music.  Later the events became a vehicle for those who have a heart and love for singing to assemble together to raise a range of voices in praise with hymns and gospel songs.  It is the latter that New Hebron wishes to perpetuate.

    The idea to begin holding singing conventions came to Dwain W. Penn in 2002 after he learned that a dear friend and life-long gospel singer, Mr. James Walter Cornell, was tragically killed in an automobile accident.  Penn honored the memory of this dear man by dedicating the conventions to Brother Cornell.  After a few years passed, Penn felt that the legacy of Cornell was not that well-known in the area and the use of the dedication has dwindled.  The fire and passion of one's love for singing is still felt every year and saints assemble in the slat wood pews of New Hebron to raise united voices in song.

    No formal start time has been set for the Saturday morning session.  After a few folks arrive, President Dwain W. Penn will pound the gavel to bring the morning session to order.  A formal welcome is issued along with prayer and instructions for participating in the singing.  [It is desired that visitors will lead at least one song but such a suggestion is never enforced.]

    Around noon, or shortly thereafter, the morning session is gaveled to a close and dinner is spread in the modest fellowship hall in the rear of the 100 year-old church.  After lunch, a brief business meeting is held and stories about the history of the church are swapped before the singing formally resumes and lasts until voices are exhausted or the well bucket runs dry - which ever comes first!

    Reservations are not required to participate, just bring a covered dish of an old favorite family recipe and come expecting the greatest time of singing God's love for mankind in song!