By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
The ladies of the Southern Bells Handbell Choir opened their program at the 55 Plus Club with, appropriately enough, “Silver Bells.”
The Southern Bells, ranging in age from 60 to 96, began about two years ago under the direction of Sharon French and Enid Kozlowski, from the Baptist and Methodist churches respectively. The two got together and came up with the idea of a handbell choir for senior ladies.
The rest, as they say, is history. Ever since then, the ladies have been ringing their way into the hearts of audiences throughout the community of Madison. French and Kozlowski believe that the choir is a part of God’s ministry, bringing music and joy to everyone who comes to hear the ladies play. At the Dec. 14 meeting of 55 Plus, there wasn’t an empty seat left anywhere as the Southern Bells began their concert.
After their opening number of “Silver Bells,” French, who took turns with Kozlowski directing the songs, told the audience that the rest of the program would be about the Nativity, “telling the story of the birth of Christ” through music, including “O Holy Night,” “Away in a Manger” and a sing-along of “Silent Night.”
The Southern Bells received a standing ovation from the delighted 55 Plus crowd at the conclusion of their performance.
The 55 Plus Club, an outreach of United Methodist Cooperative Ministries, meets the second Wednesday of every month for lunch, followed by a presentation of a speaker or musical performance. The Club is free and open to anyone 55 or older who would like to join them at the UMCM building about five miles north of town on the corner of Colin Kelly Highway and NW Dill Street.
The next 55 Plus meeting will be Wednesday, January 11, and will feature a presentation on the Treasures Museum of Madison County. For More information on the 55 Plus Club, or any other outreach ministry of UMCM, contact Deborah Brown, UMCM Coordinator, at (850) 929-4938.