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Enquirer file photo/Rebekah Martin

Depot Days Homecoming Sing changes venues

The kick-off event for the 39th annual Depot Days festival will be at a different venue this year.  

Located at 35 Tabernacle Road in Hartselle, the recently-refurbished Hartselle Tabernacle will serve as the gathering spot for the Depot Days Homecoming Sing Sept. 15 at 6 p.m. 

The event is moving from East Highland Baptist Church to its new location. “We wanted to go to the Tabernacle because it gives a unique feel – that old camp meeting feel,” explained Jerome Ward, who serves as music minister at Mt. Zion Baptist Church and is heading up the singing. “East Highland has been very good to us … They’ve been great hosts, but we know the work on the Tabernacle, and we’d like to give it some exposure so other churches know about it and could use it in the future.” 

Ward said 400-500 people have attended the event in years past, and he expects that number – if not more – this year. 

Fashioned after Bill Gaither-style singings, the event is free and open to the public, and the community is encouraged to join in to kick off the week-long Depot Days festival. 

The congregational and Southern Gospel singing will feature a community choir and special guests, including The Goforths, Evidence, Geoff Halbrooks, Annie and Randall Key, Glenn Wood, The Wards, Jaylynn and Trina Milligan, Jan Byrd and others.

Ward said anyone who would like to participate in the community choir is welcome to join. A brief rehearsal of the songs will begin at 4:45 p.m. the day of the event. 

A potluck fellowship meal will be held after the singing in the Hartselle Camp Meeting dining hall. Ward said those who want to attend the fellowship can bring a drink or dessert. 

Ward said the hymn “Leaning on the Everlasting Arms,” which was written in the late 1800s in Hartselle, will be a main event of the singing. 

“Faith is such a strong part of our community in Hartselle and, while we all worship at different places, this is a great time for us to gather together and sing songs we all like to sing and unite in praise,” Ward said. 

For more information, email Ward at sjward7@bellsouth.net or call 256-566-5686.

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