Make a joyful noise


Cullman County Schools Superintendent and Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene Executive Board Chairman Shane Barnette hung out with the choir, and even housed several members in his home during their stay in Cullman.

CULLMAN – On its 2017 American tour, the Ugandan Kids Choir made a stop in Cullman Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, performing Wednesday evening at Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene.

Pastor Rev. Joe McNulty, who has been at Cornerstone less than a year, first encountered the choir at his previous church in New Jersey during its 2016 tour, and decided to bring the students to Cullman after he moved here.

“What I’m trying to do,” said McNulty, “is to bring in different things at least once a quarter- something that we can just open up to the community, and let the community know that the church is here and just wants to be a blessing to them.”

Alexis Sullivan, a representative of the organization Childcare Worldwide and the choir’s tour leader, explained what brings these students from Uganda to the U.S., “The children are serving as ambassadors for our organization.  They’re spreading awareness, hope and joy about child sponsorship, because they are now sponsored.  All 10 of our kids in the choir range between the ages of 10 and 12, and all of them have become sponsored through our child sponsorship program.  And they have seen a significant difference in their lives since becoming sponsored, so they’re trying to raise the same chance for education for other children in other countries that we work in.

“They go around to different churches, schools and museums performing, singing and dancing, and spreading awareness about child sponsorship and the importance of education in developing countries.”

Childcare Worldwide sponsors more than 7,000 children in seven countries, and has a list of thousands more who are awaiting sponsorship.

And kids who are telling others about the importance of education wouldn’t be setting a good example if they neglected their own, even for an international tour.  The 10 members have their own traveling school and tutors who hold class on the choir’s off days.  In fact, when The Tribune dropped in on them at Cornerstone Thursday morning, they were all hard at work on lessons.  But they are kids, and it didn’t take too much prodding to get them to pause for a few minutes to sing a little.

See the video of their impromptu performance:

The kids also made a stop at West Point Middle School on Wednesday, where they attended the school’s basketball game against Cullman Middle School.  A post on the choir’s official Facebook page ( said, “The girls were invited to cheer with the cheerleaders in the bleachers and I think we have some future cheerleaders on our hands! Thank you Cullman County Board Of Education for inviting us!! We had a blast! Go Warriors!”

The choir’s next stop will be this Sunday in Scottsboro, where it will perform in the 8:30 and 11 a.m. services at First United Methodist Church.  Then the choir will continue on to Georgia, the 24th state on this year’s tour.

For more information on Childcare Worldwide, visit

For more about Cornerstone Church of the Nazarene, visit

Upcoming Cornerstone events:

Veterans’ recognition service at 10 a.m. this Sunday morning, with speakers who are veterans of the Korean and Vietnam wars, and music by the West Point High School Band.

In February, Cornerstone’s Wednesday evening suppers will be open to the public, with community leaders coming to speak.

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