Walt's Look Around: St. Mary's Jubilee Singers - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: St. Mary's Jubilee Singers

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St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bolton was built in 1876. It was a wood framed building at first, the bricks and bell tower all coming along by the 1890s. St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bolton was built in 1876. It was a wood framed building at first, the bricks and bell tower all coming along by the 1890s.
Not only did the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi, Duncan Gray deliver the message. Not only did the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi, Duncan Gray deliver the message.
The intricate woodwork in the interior made St. Mary's a showplace among Mississippi churches from the start. The intricate woodwork in the interior made St. Mary's a showplace among Mississippi churches from the start.
The Jubilee Singers from the Utica campus of Hinds Community College sang. The Jubilee Singers from the Utica campus of Hinds Community College sang.
The Utica Singers were disbanded for a while, too, back in the 1940's, but reorganized under Director Bobby Cooper in the 1970s. The Utica Singers were disbanded for a while, too, back in the 1940's, but reorganized under Director Bobby Cooper in the 1970s.
BOLTON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

This past Sunday was the 4th anniversary of the renewed St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bolton. The occasion was celebrated with a performance by one of our state's historic musical ‘institutions.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Bolton was built in 1876. It was a wood framed building at first, the bricks and bell tower all coming along by the 1890s.

The intricate woodwork in the interior made St. Mary's a showplace among Mississippi churches from the start. But by the mid-1990s St. Mary's had fallen into dormancy, and stayed that way until the 2nd Sunday of September of 2010 when their first 2nd Sunday at St. Mary's service was held at 4pm.

"It is important to Bolton because it adds, it restores a component of worship." said St. Mary's member James Anderson.  

The plan was to conduct 4 services a year. But the turnout was so great that first Sunday, it immediately was decided to congregate once a month.  

"Soon as that first service took off and we had over a hundred people, people were standing outside, we realized, wait a minute. This is going to be a service we have every single month," said Rev. Billie Abraham.

"When people come they worship," added Anderson. "They worship in the holy spirit but they also are enveloped in the creative spirit and we think that is a wonderful thing."

Now, this past Sunday was the 4th anniversary of the revived St. Mary's. Not only did the Episcopal Bishop of Mississippi, Duncan Gray deliver the message, but also the Jubilee Singers from the Utica campus of Hinds Community College sang.

This is sort of like an historic institution performing within an historic institution. The original Utica Jubilee Singers was organized in 1903, patterned after the jubilee singers at Fisk University and at Tuskegee.

The Utica Singers were disbanded for a while, too, back in the 1940's, but reorganized under Director Bobby Cooper in the 1970s. And they have been performing ever since.  

I got there years and years ago, nineteen hundred and seventy two," said Cooper. "And I read the history of the jubilee singers. And I said, wow. This is something that I would like to do."

Two entities, both institutions unto themselves, St. Mary's Church in Bolton and the Utica Jubilee Singers, both brought back to life, and uniting this past weekend to celebrate anniversary of the revival of 2nd Sunday's at St Mary's.

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