Smith Chapel UMC Receives $2,528 Grant for Older Adult Choir

Smith Chapel UMC choir members model their new choir shirts, funded in part by a grant from the Golden Cross Foundation. Pictured in the first row from left to right: Tom Culver, Diane Clark, Brenda Williams, and Sherry Culver. Back row from left to right: Corrynne Clements, Dane Clark, Cheryl Schmaeman, Rhett Schmaeman, Wanda Smith, David Williams, and Lisa Clements. Newest member, Diane Morrison, is not pictured.

Smith Chapel United Methodist Church in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee, received a $2,528 grant from the Golden Cross Foundation. Money from this grant was used to help fund and expand an older adult choir’s outreach to nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other community events.

“Smith Chapel/Campground Christian Choir was formed to fulfill the needs and desires of our older members to sing and make music,” said choir member Brenda Williams.

Located in Macon County about a 90 minutes northeast of Nashville, Red Boiling Springs is a magnet for older adults. Many are drawn to the area’s beauty and friendly residents.

“While we are inviting and welcoming to people of all ages,” said Williams, “our new attendees are usually retirees.”

Thus, the choir began to focus on creating a music ministry by, with, and for older adults. Blessed with husband and wife music ministry leaders, Tom and Sherry Culver, choir members set their sight on expanding to area nursing homes, assisted living centers, and community events.

“Our goals and objectives were to bring music to those who could not come to church and to include those who needed an activity that would bring joy and fulfillment to their lives,” said Williams.

To help fund the equipment and supplies needed to make this vision a reality, Williams submitted a grant application to the Golden Cross Foundation. This past summer, the church received a grant for $2,528 to help purchase a keyboard, speakers, and choir shirts.

Since September, the choir has performed at an area nursing home and a veteran’s luncheon. A community Christmas concert was held in December at Smith Chapel.

“When performing at the nursing home,” said Williams, “we saw joy in the resident’s faces. They sang along with us at times.”

For several years Smith Chapel has hosted a veteran’s luncheon. However, this year attendees were surprised with the choir’s performance.

“As we performed, we saw tears in their eyes—despite tears in our own eyes,” said Williams. “The music came from our hearts in praise of our Savior who has so blessed our nation.”

Thanks in part to the grant from the Golden Cross Foundation, the future is sounding merry and bright for choir members and area residents alike.