‘I’m glad this community has a desire for such a thing as this’

Guests sing old-fashioned hymns at the Eva Frontier Days community singing event Thursday, Sept. 23. (Sara Gladney for The Cullman Tribune)

EVA, Ala. – Residents and visitors filled Eva Baptist Church Thursday night for the annual Eva Frontier Days community singing event.

The singing has been a part of Eva Frontier Days since it was started in 1989 by the Eva Art Guild. There is now a Frontier Days Board that organizes the event alongside the Guild.

Board member Cynthia Weaver said that Frontier Days was inspired by a trip taken by one of the Art Guild members in 1989 to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Cheyenne had been celebrating its own Frontier Days. “So, when she came back, she had pictures, and this was in July of ’89. She said, ‘We need to do this in Eva.’ So, in September, we did our first Frontier Days.”

Pastor Zack Scott welcomed the crowd to the church, saying, “This isn’t a typical church service; this is a community singing, but I’m glad to see you this evening, glad the Lord has allowed this, glad this community has a desire for such a thing as this.”

Those gathered sang old-fashioned hymns in the spirit of Frontier Days. Several individuals called out suggestions for hymns that were meaningful to them. Hymns including “Heaven’s Jubilee,” “That Glad Reunion Day,” “Blessed Assurance,” “The Wayfaring Stranger.”

They sang the historical “Murillo’s Lesson” found in “The Sacred Harp,” derived from the poem “Columbia” by Timothy Dwight, printed in 1794. Dwight was associated with the Hartford Wits, a group of Connecticut men associated with literary work during and after the American Revolution.

The annual singing is held at various churches, each year at a different one.  

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