A Shared Heritage: Convention Opens with Music and Storytelling
By Carl Stagner
NAC 2012 kicked off with congregational worship, special music, and a look back in time. James Edwards, president of Anderson University, and Ronald V. Duncan, general director of Church of God Ministries, welcomed guests. Vocalists Jay and Amy Rouse led the gathering in praise and worship, as hands, hearts, and voices were lifted heavenward.
Lisa Fauntleroy Dawson, AU alum, took attendees on an audiovisual journey through the early days of the movement and AU up to the present day. Scenes of AU’s music groups from their humble beginnings to their present global influence highlighted the shared heritage of AU and the Church of God. The audience rejoiced, laughed, and cried at the tributes to heroes of the faith who have had a profound impact on both the Church of God and Anderson University. Special guests Ron and Carolyn Patty, James Rouintree, Susan Taylor, Robert Nicholson, Dale Bengston, Richard Sowers, Todd Braschler, and others contributed to the celebration through music and storytelling. Alumni from far and near formed a mass choir and wind ensemble, as these and other artists celebrated our shared heritage.
In an emotionally powerful moment, Robert Nicholson and Joyce Foggs shared a story of the power of unity. Joyce Foggs was the only black student in Nicholson’s choir at the time, and they were on tour in a region where racial division still marked businesses, churches, and schools. Forty-plus college students sat down in a restaurant, ready to open their wallets to satisfy their hunger. When Foggs was spotted, management made it clear that she would not be served. Nicholson stood up and announced that this restaurant would therefore receive none of their business. The choir left the restaurant, bought food at a nearby Kroger, and had a picnic in the park.