For a second consecutive Christmas, Dawn Seegars is pulling double duty preparing for special Christmas music.

Seegars, a bi-vocational worship leader at Temple Baptist Church, is again helping to put together the annual Singing Christmas Tree performances at Highland Baptist Church where she sang in the choir with the late Nancy Brady.
This year’s performances are scheduled Dec. 13-15 at 7 p.m. each evening.

Brady was the choir director at Highland until she lost a battle with cancer last year. Seegars stepped in to take over Brady’s role, and has agreed to do it again this year while Highland is engaged in the search for a new pastor.

“They have awesome lay leadership but no music director permanently on staff and now no pastor,’’ Seegars said. Seegars said the congregation reached out to her over the summer to ask if she’d take on the job of directing this year’s Singing Christmas Tree and she agreed.

“In church music, if you’re not a season ahead, you’re behind,’’ Seegars said. “In summertime you’re picking out Christmas music.’’

Rehearsals began about the third week in September Seegars said.

“We always try to do something different every year,’’ she said. “We haven’t repeated music. We want everyone that comes to hear something new, see something new.’’
The sets may be the same, but the music and dramatic portions of the performance will be updated.

Seegars said this year’s music selections will represent a variety of styles. “We’ve got some music with a Southern gospel feel, music with a regular gospel feel,’’ she said. “We’ve got some Christmas classics and even a song that includes a children’s choir.’’

There will also be narrations along with actors portraying the traditional manger scene from the story of the birth of Christ. There will even by a lyrical dance team performing.

Seegars praised the lay leadership at the church for their commitment to keep the Singing Christmas Tree going even without a full-time minister and music leader presently on staff.

“When you don’t have a pastor, things are always a little tougher than when you do have somebody in that leadership role,’’ Seegars said. “They are going to continue to do what they are called to do and present the gospel message of Christmas to the community.’’

Woody Cox, chairman of the church’s Board of Deacons, said those planning to come to the Singing Christmas Tree are invited to bring a donation of canned goods or other nonperishable foods to the church’s food pantry.
Even without a pastor, Cox said the church’s ministry has been able to continue because of the great people there who are willing to share their time. The church has been doing the Singing Christmas Tree many years before Cox joined the congregation in 1995.

“We just think it’s a great way to get the community in to hear the presentation of the gospel,’’ he said. “A lot of lost people are more willing to come in and watch the program. Through songs and the message that goes into it they get the gospel presentation of Jesus Christ.“We can touch a lot of lives quicker that way.’’

For questions about the Singing Christmas Tree, call the church office at 910-425-5305, Monday through Thursday.

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