First Posted: 9/27/2009
Music was the binding theme of Sunday mornings Mayberry Days chapel service.
LeRoy McNees helped to lead the service held at the Blackmon Amphitheater along with Vip Vipperman on fiddle, Rick Pardue on banjo, Craig Wilson on mandolin and Yvonne Tatar on bass.
For those in attendance, the break in the cloud cover and appearance of the sun just as the service began was a welcome change from the weekend of rain that hounded Mayberry Days festivities.
McNees incorporated bluegrass and gospel music into the service, making it a fitting end to a weekend in the foothills of North Carolina and a return to a simpler way of life. The message for the service revolved around the musical selections instead of there being a more traditional sermon.
Before each song, McNees related the theme of the song to a topic covered in the Bible. Even the scripture, Psalm 150, revolved around the theme of music and singing. He said that singing is mentioned in the Bible from the Old Testament all the way through the New Testament.
The ability to do that (sing) is just such a gift and a talent that is God-given, he said.
He spoke about putting God first and relying on His power to get through life.
We live in a world that has evil in it. But theres a way we can be protected. We can put on Gods armor, he said, leading into the song Put On Gods Armor.
McNees even had help from some of the special guests from the weekend.
David Browning, better known as the Mayberry Deputy, joined the band on stage to sing The Carter Familys Keep on the Sunny Side of Life. Michael Hoover, an Elvis impersonator, took the stage for two songs with the band, When He Reached Down His Hand for Me and Power in the Blood.
You hear a lot about soul these days. The Bible talks about the soul being a part of our selves that will never die, said McNees by way of introducing one of the songs.
The crowd gathered for the service also had the chance to sing along to any of the songs they knew. There was also a handout with the words to I Saw the Light and Amazing Grace which were used to open the service with the crowd encouraged to sing along.
Jan McNees, LeRoys wife and the reigning Pickle Queen, took part in the service by telling the story of Grandmas Hands. The story told of a grandmother who was discovered to be staring at her hands one day. When asked what she was doing, the grandmother said that she was looking at her hands and thinking of all they had allowed her to do in her life.
Life up your hands this morning and look at them. How have you used them? she asked the crowd. Have you used them for the glory of God? Have you used them in the service of others?
LeRoy told a personal story of his decision to leave his life in Gods hands after pursuing a career in music.
I even put playing music above God, but thankfully God had a plan for me. I had fought God for quite a long time. Finally I came to the point of surrender, he said. Its been a blessing ever since then. Theres been trials along the way but in the end, God has been good to me.
Mayberry Days concluded on Sunday with a farewell lunch at Sagebrush and a final screening of The Ghost and Mr. Chicken starring Don Knotts at the Downtown Cinema Theater.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.