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First Baptist Snellville's Men of Praise in third year

 

SNELLVILLE — Those who enjoy hearing a choir of men will surely enjoy the group known as the Men of Praise from First Baptist Church of Snellville directed by Lawton Roberts. One Sunday evening each month the Men of Praise make themselves available to sing in other churches.

First Baptist Snellville

First Baptist Snellville layman Lawton Roberts, front row fourth from the left, directs the Men of Praise. Lawton’s “training” in music ministry began as a senior in high school leading his church’s choir on Youth Sunday.

The Men of Praise presented a 60-minute program at Winterville’s First Baptist earlier this year. Ronald Mize, minister of music at the Winterville church, remarked, “The Men of Praise is constituted by a group of dedicated laymen who sacrificially give of their time to present the gospel in song. Their presentation was excellent and our people thoroughly enjoyed their music.”

The Men of Praise have a repertoire of about 20 songs, all sung from memory. Several styles of music comprise the presentation including Southern Gospel, traditional hymns, praise and worship, anthems, Christian Classical, patriotic, and even Barbershop.

Roberts, who provides leadership for the Men of Praise, is a layman and received his “training” in choral directing as a senior in high school when he was selected to be the “Youth Week” minister of music at his home church, First Baptist Church of Hendersonville, N.C.

“It was under the excellent tutelage of my minister of music, Howard Starks,” Roberts avows, “that I learned to direct music. In preparation for ‘Youth Week’ I spent the better part of three months as his understudy, watching his every move. Finally, on that magical Sunday when the youth were called upon to lead, I directed a choir of about 60 adults in their special music and a congregation of about 750 on Sunday morning and evening.

“Since that time other doors have opened for me to be involved in a music ministry. I am a member of the Sons of Jubal under the direction of Jon Duncan, music specialist for the Georgia Baptist Convention. Singing under the leadership of Jon is a great joy, but on the other hand I am delighted to be able to direct the Men of Praise.

“The group was established in 1997 under the lay leadership of Mr. Roger Buice, but I was given the opportunity to direct in 2005 at a time when our church was without a minister of music.”

Churches interested in using The Men of Praise should contact Lawton Roberts at Lawton@CountryPlaceTravel.com.