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I’ve been wracking my mind trying to figure out how best to communicate to you the depth and scope of the Candlelight Dinner, but after dismissing nifty ideas like forcing readers to peruse this entry while sitting in a sauna (roughly the experience of the singers on our stifling stage), surrounded by several hundred votive candles and with a gospel CD playing at full volume next to them, I’ve concluded that pictures, though they’re reputed to merely speak a thousand words, might also sing a dozen songs, recite a couple monologues, dance a couple jigs and tease curious taste buds.  So I’ll put the rhetoric on hold for just this one entry and treat you instead to a panoply of visuals from this year’s Candlelight Dinner.  It was a celebration of FREEDOM—gospel style—and from the thoughtful table decorations to the performances, it exuded the kind of vitality and hope that only a God-centered event could muster.

(Danny Plett leading the 100-voice choir)

Please continue to pray with us that the unsaved audience members who ate, cheered and sang along will have come away with more than mere music.  May the months of tireless effort that created Candlelight bear eternal fruit in the lives of those who don’t know Jesus, and may the truths sung and spoken from the stage and around the dinner table continue to resonate in their hearts and souls.

(Giant murals painted by Rob Carey.  The chairs at the bottom of the photo should give
you an idea of the size of the paintings!)

(The evening began with a drum number by BFA boys.)

(A short scene depicting slaves in the field and their ruthless owner.)

(Suzanne Kollnig, from Cameroon, read a text about Harriett Tubman
and her fight for freedom. Projected portrait by Jim Meyer!)

(There were several choreographed numbers like this one.)

(BFA’s stage has probably never held so many bodies!)

(Joyful faces singing of Freedom…)

(A powerful mime left few dry eyes.  It was the highlight of the evening for me.)

(Danbi as Jesus…type-casting? )

(Pleased audience members.)

(Stressed organizers?  Diane Farmer, Cy Farmer, Mary Beth Holladay, Rick Holladay,
Dorothy Parent and Katie Roberts were the core team that made Candlelight so memorable.)

(Squirt’s critical role: holding up the choreography cards!)

(Fantastic soloists!)


(The wall of sound coming off the stage was staggering!)


(A joyful, hopeful, redemptive performance that glorified the Author of creativity.)

This is just a small collection of the pictures I took, and there are many more that cover the backstage mayhem and decorative genius of the evening!  To see more of them, please click on either of the following links…

PHOTO ALBUM: https://picasaweb.google.com/Shellphoenix/SINGFREEDOMCandlelightDinner09?feat=email#

SLIDESHOW: https://picasaweb.google.com/Shellphoenix  /SINGFREEDOMCandlelightDinner09?feat=email#slideshow

…or take a look at my photo albums on Facebook.  All the pictures are there too!     



  1. wow what a glorious evening. i see many of the dear faces that you love in the choir…what a blessed group you have of people who have been gifted to sing and share of the Freedom in Christ. i can see from the many pictures that with so many bodies and so much lovely candlelight it was probably quite warm there for you guys. i pray that this was used for God’s glory. it looks like a fantastic evening!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing through pictures! We had already heard from several people what a blessed time it was with such a clear message on freedom in Christ. May God continue to do the work that only his Spirit can do in the lives of the people who heard, saw and experienced the difference Christ makes in our lives!

  3. oh michele!!! that is so amazing!!! oh my gosh I LOVE the THEME!!!!! the choir looks amazing!!! especially mr kraines’s JOYOUS face!!! ah! I wish I could see video clips of the performances.. it looks beautiful.. PRAISE GOD!!!

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