HOPEDALE – Hopedale United Methodist Church was brought to life, December 2 by Melissa Ross-Merkel and her entourage. After Pastor Ruby opened the program with a word of prayer, Melissa Ross-Merkel introduced her group.

The group consisted of Sally Tucker playing bass guitar, back up singer and read the story of the birth of Jesus in between the different songs relating to the story; Pastor Diane Bowling soloist and back up singer with the others; Melanie Reynolds and Melissa Ross-Merkel, soloists and back-up singers; Laura Benington, soloist, played keyboard and sang back-up; and finally Roger Reynolds played a mean lead guitar for everyone.

The church was so thankful to have Melanie and Roger Reynolds from Mt. Vernon, (formerly from Harrison County) back. Melissa stated, “I went to church here in my younger days, and it felt good to be back.”  Pastor Bowling said, “I’ve sung here at this church and others in the area, many times in the past.” What a blessing it was to hear such beautiful and inspiring Christmas songs. “Rejoice! Rejoice!” was the perfect song to ask those present to join in with the singing.

Many in attendance commented on the diverse range of octaves each singer had and how well they harmonized together. The Hopedale UMC would like to say thank you to Melissa Ross-Merkel and her entourage for coming and sharing their God-given Talents with them. Everyone enjoyed the group, his or her music, and all hope they will return soon.

Melissa Ross-Merkel closed the program with a word of prayer. In her beautiful prayer, she prayed for peace and love to all this holiday season.

If you know anyone interested in sharing his or her God-given talent, call the Hopedale United Methodist Church at 740-937-2844 or Pastor Ruby Foutz, 740-946-2925 or 740-946-2010.