Choir Day Brought Large Crowd To Frankford
By Ethan Colbert
It’s been more than 30 years since the last Sunday worship service was held in the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Frankford. Yet, on Sunday the church sanctuary was nearly standing room only as former church members and friends of congregation returned to celebrate the 72nd Annual Choir Day.
As the event is nearing its 75th anniversary, Rev. Faye Vaughn said in her opening message that she hopes the event never ceases to be held.
“I know that somebody is going to keep it going,” Vaughn said. “I know that when I am gone and Bill is gone from this place, that this event will continue to be held. It will continue to be held until God says no more.”
History of Frankford’s
Bethel AME Church
According to the book: “Our Hometown: History of Frankford, Mo.” the Bethel AME Church’s roots go back to 1870 when a small group of people met and worshiped in an old log schoolhouse.
The log cabin was shared by Baptists, Methodists, and Christians. After a period of some time, the Methodists broke away and constructed their own building.
When this building was lost to fire, a stone building was constructed using limestone mined from a farm east of Frankford.
The cornerstone for this building, which still stands today, was laid in 1898. By December 1905, the church’s membership had grown to 36.
The church congregation continued to grow until the congregation closed its doors in the later part of the 1980s.
Despite ceasing to have regular Sunday worship services, the church’s annual Choir Day festivities have continued.
On Sunday afternoon, more than six area church choirs participated in a praise and worship service that featured classic hymns, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and upbeat praise songs such as “I Believe.”