Tennessee church celebrates diversity through Advent musical

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville First Church of the Nazarene recently united its four congregations through an Advent musical presented by the church’s elementary school children. 

The special show brought together members of the church’s English-speaking, Haitian, Hispanic, and African congregations.

“If you were a visitor that morning, you would have been amazed at the various nationalities represented, as well as the wonderful presentation they made of the gospel through song,” said Sabrina Jones, Nashville First children’s pastor. “It was outstanding!”

The yearly production is no small feat. 

“There are 21 members of the musical leadership team, and they spend four months preparing,” Jones said. 

This was the church’s third year hosting a combined Advent worship service.

“In spite of some evident hesitation, nay I say resistance to these challenges, this team excels with excellence,” Jones said. “The obstacles exist, yet the beauty in the end makes every moment worth it.”

Founded in 1898, Nashville First may be one of the oldest congregations in the denomination, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuck in the past. 

“As the children’s pastor at Nashville First since 2011, an ordained as an elder in 2015, and an attender since 1990, I have watched and felt as the landscape of our historic, urban church has changed,” Jones said.

The church changed along with the landscape, adding a Haitian congregation in 1987 and two additional congregations, African and Hispanic, in the last three years.

“Every Sunday, we are worshipping in English, Creole, Swahili, and Spanish languages throughout our building,” Jones said. “Not only are languages unique, but the worship styles and fellowship customs echo through our halls with robust exuberance in accordance with their natural form of worship. It is a beautiful mosaic of God’s glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

Jones believes this diversification is all part of God’s plan. 

“The beautiful transformation taking place in churches all across the United States is being orchestrated by God to bring the nations together,” she said. “Maybe in another generation or two as these children grow to lead the churches across our nation, we will see greater harmony that reflects the unity to which God calls His beloved bride. Maybe amid the profound diversity of tongue and tribe, we will experience His kingdom come and will be done in a way that has never been experienced this side of heaven.”

To watch the children’s musical, click here.

--Nashville First Church of the Nazarene via NCN News submissions

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