The gospel group 4Given gave a powerful concert on Saturday night at Open Door Fellowship. Members of many churches in the parish turned out to fill the auditorium and enjoy the music.
4Given is made up of Mark Smith, Jarrett Bailey, David Adams and Ken Adams. Su’Anice Bailey accompanies them on keyboard. If you have ever heard angels sing, you were probably there Saturday night.
The concert opened with a powerful acapella rendition of “There is a Sweet Sweet Spirit.” That set the tone of the evening. Mark Smith told the audience that they would follow with “perhaps the most familiar song to most people.” Everyone agreed when the group began “Jesus Loves Me.”
Another familiar and powerful song 4Given performed was “Why Me Lord” by Kris Kristofferson. Smith detailed Kristofferson’s own account of going to church with country singer Connie Smith one Sunday after the two had performed on Saturday night. As the story goes, at the end of the service there was an altar call, and Kristofferson had no intention of answering. But he said there he was raising his hand and then going forward. And that inspired him to write and record what would become his most popular song. Jarrett Bailey started it off asking the question “Why Me Lord?”
The group performed many very familiar songs and looking around the room you could tell when one or another was tugging at a heart. Prior to the final song, Mark Smith issued his own altar call. He said, “Life is certainly scary at times but we can know without any doubt where we are going if we accept Jesus Christ as our savior.” And that lead into their most powerful song of the night, “Because He Lives.”
The audience absorbed every word. They clapped and sang along. And 4Given invited all to stand and sing along with the final chorus, and then added another final chorus. There were many friends who greeted each other along with members of the group as they slowly left the church.
The Saturday night concert was part of the weekend celebration of the 10th anniversary of Open Door Fellowship. Joshua Loftin has a report on the Sunday celebration. It will appear in Friday’s edition of The Journal.