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Five churches joining for Christmas concert in West Hall
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The 'Peace Has Come' concert will be performed Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. - photo by Austin Steele

Five local churches are working together to bring a festive evening full of Christmas music and fellowship to the Gainesville area.

The choirs of Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Flowery Branch, Flat Creek Baptist Church, Poplar Springs Baptist Church and West Hall Baptist Church will join one another at 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, to present a musical program titled “Peace Has Come.” The production will take place at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Gainesville.

“There will be about 150 voices that we’re hoping to have there,” said Rick Couch, minister of music at West Hall Baptist Church. “And for our small churches — for the churches of our size — that’s quite a big number for us. We’re excited to have that many voices at one time.

‘Peace Has Come’

What: Christmas concert

When: 6 p.m. Dec. 16

Where: Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, 3650 Browns Bridge Road, Gainesville
How much: Free

The choirs will perform a new Christmas musical composed by Dennis and Nan Allen. 
“Dennis writes a lot of stuff for Lifeway and some other publishing companies, (and) we had done a lot of that music as different choirs in our own church services, our own in-house concerts for Christmas,” Couch said. “He and his wife have been working on this program for a while, and so he made us aware that it was going to be available. We chose to use that brand-new program as a premiere.” 
He said the churches have a “bond” that led to them working together.

“We've kind of shared music among ourselves,” he said. “We have a lot of interaction. The churches are close in proximity through the Georgia Baptist Association and meetings that we have and whatnot. You kind of get to know the choir directors and the ministers of music in your particular area.”

The program will last about an hour, and it will feature a variety of songs that “tie together with the Christmas message.”

“It is a series of songs and arrangements that are done in conjunction with the narration,” Couch said. “Each one of the songs work to tie another point of emphasis to the Christmas message.”

The choirs will perform a number of original pieces by Dennis Alan as well as a few familiar ones, like “Breath of Heaven” and “What a Beautiful Name.”  
“He’s worked with the arrangement in order for it to fit the program,” he said.

Christmas carols will also be a part of the concert.  
“The congregation (is) invited to join and just enjoy in singing the Christmas carols,” he said.

Couch said that the choirs have been preparing for the performance for a few months now.

“In just about all five of the churches, we began rehearsing probably late August,” he said. “The choir directors — the ministers of music for the five churches — we’ve been meeting and talking and making plans since the first of this year, going through the music as it became available, looking at where we wanted to present the program and just making general plans.”
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