SILOAM — The annual Candlelight Christmas in Rockford has been scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7 by The Rockford Preservation Society.
The event will once again be held at the historic 1914 Rockford Methodist Church, according to society spokesperson Hannah Holyfield.
“It will be awesome as always,” said Holyfield. “Because parking is limited, the YVEDDI van will be available beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Rockford Baptist Church parking lot to shuttle guests to the church.”
Holyfield said the Candlelight Christmas service was started in 1991 and is in its 22nd year. Dr. Gena Poovey along with Evelyn Holyfield are credited with bringing back the service.
“This program has grown over the years,” said Holyfield. “In 2000, it was expanded into two nights as audiences of more than 200 persons taxed available space in the 150 capacity church.”
She said Poovey later moved from the area to become a professor of music at Limestone College in Gaffney, S.C. Poovey now serves a chairman of the college’s musical department. Hannah Holyfield said Poovey sometimes brings student talent from the college to perform at the service.
“In the past Gena (Poovey) has brought the entire college’s choir and the Limestone College Concert Band,” added Holyfield. “Their performances just couldn’t interfere with their exams.”
Poovey will once again lead the programs at the service. She will be featured in the Dec. 6 evening performance accompanied by Norma Johnson, Limestone College student Brian Kaylor, Gene Anderson and the Ararat Friends Singers. The Surry Central High School Chorus directed by Teresa Beshears also is scheduled to perform Thursday.
The Friday night program will feature Poovey as well as Limestone students Brian Kaylor and William Scoggins and Norma Johnson. The Marshall Brothers and High Road, Sammy Eads and friends, Ashley Godwin and Devin Matthews also will perform that night.
“It’s beautiful we have lots of variety. We have a bit of everything including folk, bluegrass, pop, classical and opera,” added Holyfield. “The Marshall Brothers are a bluegrass gospel group, while Gena (Poovey) has a trained, classical voice.” Poovey will sing “Come unto Me” to honor the fresco of Christ in the church.
She said the 1850 Davenport Gallery will be open before and after both programs and will offer a selection of items for Christmas shopping. The featured artist to the month will be Johnny Pardue of Pardue Pottery. Holyfield said he is a native of Wilkes County and has been creating pottery since 2002. She indicated his work is functional, lead free and food safe.
Pardue said he loves to hear his customers say they use his pottery on a daily basis. The gallery features local artists and is located in the historic village of Rockford a short distance down the road from the church.
“The program has evolved,” said Holyfield. “In the beginning it was the Limestone College Chorus and Gena and the Rockford Children’s Choir. Over the years it’s become varied. Everyone seems to like that. You never know what the next group stepping up will be. The church is small, but the activities are amazing.”
Holyfield said hot cider and cookies will be offered afterwards. There is no charge for the event, but donations are accepted. Proceeds go to restoration projects in the historic town that was once the county seat until 1850 when the county seat was moved to Dobson. Buildings in the district range from the late 1700s to 1900s. Four of these have been restored and the society plans to restore the remaining two buildings.
Reach David Broyles at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1952.