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Washington Heights celebrates Fourth of July early

They didn't let the rain get them down, nor did they let the devil ruin their evening.

Instead, people attending a recent pre-July Fourth patriotic program at Washington Heights Baptist Church in Thomson took it all in stride by moving from the church yard to the sanctuary.

Church members had planned an outdoor sing, including music from Little Roy Lewis of the famous Lewis Family of Lincolnton, as well as Elizabeth "Lizzie" Long and her band, Mountain Fury. In addition, church choir members sang songs that were centered around a patriotic theme.

The choir also paid a special salute to each of America's military branches of service and recognized those in the congregation who had served their country.

Approximately 200 people attended the celebration, which lasted more than two hours. Even though many of them got wet from the thunderstorm that chased them inside, it didn't seem to dampen their spirits.

Perhaps one of the reasons it didn't was the musician/comedian/joking acts of Little Roy Lewis, who received rousing applause for both of his talents. When he wasn't cutting up with Lizzie or one of the band members, Little Roy was picking away on his banjo.

When it came time for the church choir to perform with their inspirational salute to America, it followed the words of a patriotic message delivered by narrator Mel Stovall. Ken Burns was special vocalist.

"It was indeed a blessing to do this again this year," said Church Choir Director Allen Peevy. "Our vision was to reach the un-churched. We want to introduce our community to Jesus Christ. I thank we had victory tonight over what Satan tried to destroy."

His father, the Rev. Sonny Peevy, meanwhile, said, "We celebrate America. We celebrate freedom and we celebrate Jesus Christ when we give Him our hearts."

Web posted on Thursday, July 12, 2007

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