By Dorothy Timpy
Music is one of the purest forms of communication and at BCC it becomes
even more. A form of personalized individual worship for choir, musicians
and parishioners are all under the nurturing care of Jim Lacy, Pastor
of Ministering Arts.
Lacy works closely with Beaverton Christian Church Pastor Clark Tanner
to bring the day's music into closely aligned focus for the growing
number of parishioners. Their responsive appreciation is overwhelmingly
apparent. He takes part with piano and strong vocal lead for the congregation.
Music has been a focal point in Lacy's life from a very early age.
His father died when Lacy was on the verge of his teen years. By the
time he was 15, due to the family's critical financial need, he was
performing with area groups and helping in their upkeep.
He recalls working with touring groups while he was still in school.
He says, "I would get on the bus Friday, work a gig Friday night,
possibly one Saturday afternoon, Saturday night and Sunday, then board
the bus to return home and go to school." He chuckles as he admits,
"I got my fill of travel early in life.
Lacy traveled not only in Columbus, Ohio, Charleston, West Virginia,
but also from the Provinces of Canada to the Virgin Islands. From Columbus,
they moved to Michigan in 1983, then on to Orlando, Fla., where they
were also busy with offspring Nick, who will graduate from Southridge
this year and Mary, who is studying for a career in sociology at Southern
Musical repertoire has included country, gospel and many others. He
confesses that at one time, he strongly considered musical entertainment
as his career. However, a Higher Power intervened and Lacy has followed
the Christian music direction for the past 18 years.
It probably would have been easy for his head to be turned by the successes
he has known in music. Lacy performed at Grand Ole Opry, worked with
notables everyone would recognize. In Tampa, Fla., he worked with Rosemary
Clooney and Debbie Boone in the annual Christmas show for three years.
Lacy and his wife Sheri spent 10 years in Florida, affiliated with
Church of Nazarene, prior to their arrival in Beaverton. One of the
special events there was preparing the first "Choir in Space."
Originally the group had scheduled a concert, but due to the uncertainty
of the Endeavor's attempts for launch, the concert was canceled and
the choir gathered in the recording studio to put together a tape for
the Endeavor's astronauts. And that's how the music came to be, as the
famed Endeavor made its ascent out of the atmosphere. Some 140 voices
contributed to the power of that ascending sound.
Lacy directed musical contributions to baseball with The Star Spangled
Banner. While in Ohio, he was chosen by Manhattan Bank to do their
musical contribution to the Fourth of July parade in the city.
Keyboard Festival, the second at BCC under the direction of Lacy, took
place this month drawing crowds from a wide area. It proved to be one
of the most highly appreciated musical events presented at the church.
Floods of calls came in as listeners expressed their appreciation for
the breadth and depth of the show of the four grand pianos. Pianists
spanning ages 9 to 80, all parishioners of BCC, performed during the
evening of music. Another such festival will take place next year.
Lacy scripts Easter and Christmas programs to meet goals, pains and
hurts of the people attending the church. He speaks of the Y2K presentation
based on Old England turn of the century, addressing concerns of parishioners.
Each such production takes at least 18 months of preparation. Initially
seven people meet each week to review and fine-tune everything in the
script. Lacy says, for instance about the Christmas extravaganza, if
it isn't ready by Thanksgiving, it could be postponed to another date
or year for additional preparation time.
Redeemer is the Easter program scheduled for April 6, 7 and 8. Scripted
also by Lacy, he indicates it is the story of the life of Christ after
the resurrection. Lacy points out this religion is the only one that
boasts an "empty tomb" so this story will tell of the events
which followed Jesus' resurrection.
Every day of the week finds vocalists, musicians, dancers, keyboardists
gathered at the church to hone their talents for some upcoming event.
Youths have separate services and music but also take part in the adult
programs. Recently, a junior high hand-bell group performed while high
schoolers scheduled special music presentations. A number of junior
high and senior high students perform in the adult choir each Sunday
at the two services.
Another event featured only six weeks in the summer is Saturday on
the Green in the church amphitheater. Special entertainment is scheduled
and staff members provide devotions and preaching. These programs begin
on the Saturday following July 4 and begin at 7 p.m., lasting about
an hour or an hour-and-a-half. People gather their lawn chairs and blankets
to sit on the grass and experience the outdoor service.
Lacy talks of those who volunteer for the music, whether it be vocal
or instrumental. He says his instinct relies on availability rather
than ability. The enthusiasm of participation takes precedence and that
joy of performing reaches out from the stage to touch everyone in the
audience, to soothe the soul.