Sunday, December 22, The Place Where You Belong was honored to host a 2013 performance of Black Nativity. The Vision from Pastor O, was to bring to life the Christmas Story through an anointed group, providing Christmas enlightenment as well as entertainment. The Ensemble Theatre of Houston was no disappointment.
The Cast was stocked full of talented voices, amazing dancers and great actors and actresses. Directed by Eileen J. Morris, the cast of Black Nativity brought the Christmas story to life with renditions of Oh What a Wonderful Child, Silent Night, Mary Did You Know, Total Praise and many others soulful Christmas songs and melodies.
The amazing dance numbers fit well into the performance, showing the full range of all on stage. Each actor and actress displayed talent and ability well beyond the expectation of the audience, bringing smiles and applause from all presence. Spotlighted was anointed vessels Lashanna Leonard and Samanta West, both who’s solos covered the with of the stage, conquering each place their foot trod. Their routines was graceful, and as one attendant labeled them, “angelic”.
A powerful performance by JoAnne Davis-Jones set the tone for the entire evening. Her energy and powerful voice insured the audience that their attendance was no accident and would not be an evening without purpose and or fulfillment. Midway through the production, Tommie Harper III brought the audience to their feet, mastering the falsetto solo in a rendition of Temptations rendition of Silent Night.
The night was brought to a boil with a duet by Constance Washington and Brandon Johnson, as they performed a First Met Favorite, Mary Did You Know. This song is near and dear to First Met, as our Pastor O’s solo tradition each Christmas. The song displayed the talent of both soloist, and was under girded by the harmony of the entire cast. This lead to the powerful concluding number Total Praise, which featured the backing of the amazing First Met Choir. The full power of the voices was the perfect conclusion to the night.
December 21, 2013 First Metropolitan hosted our Annual Christmas Event, “Snow on the Beltway”. This year it had a slit twist to it. The weather just so happened to storm on the beltway, but without a hassle we moved our event indoors to assure that we could still put a smile on every child’s face.
With over 200 children in attendance it was destined to be a magnificent experience for all involved. With the help of our food pantry, and community sponsors we distributed over 500 toys. Guest were able to take pictures with Santa, participate in Christmas games, eat cookies & hot chocolate, as well as pizza sponsored by Pizza Hut. It was a beautiful visual to see each guest (including parents) go home with bags of gifts. Santa took pictures with each child and gathered a list of their “Christmas List”. Santa was elated to grant the children with their wishes of dolls, teddy bears, gift certificates, make-up kits, coloring books, Crayola’s, trucks, and so much more.
Pastor O & Lady O greeted each guest, and our evangelism ministry provided prayer to those who requested. FMC Food Pantry did an amazing job of gathering families in the community who could use a lending hand during the Holiday season. Amongst gifts, families also went home with food items to prepare a great Holiday meal. We would also like to send a special thanks to KFMC News for provided everyone with great coverage and assisting in advertising.
Although we could not predict the thunderstorm that took place prior to “Snow on the Beltway”, we knew that God was smiling down on us as we ended the event with clear skies and sunny weather. God has a special way of letting us know that he is happy.
Pastor O & Lady O, and the entire First Met staff would like to Happy New Year. We will see you all at our New Year’s Eve service on December 31st at 8:30 pm.
On November 2, 2013 it was all about service. The Juniors, Cadettes and Seniors volunteered to host Brownie Magic. Brownie Magic is an opportunity for Brownie Girl Scouts to experience Girl Scouts. The program provides 35 minute sessions on crafts, science, hiking, songs and games and a look at the girl scout drill team the Green Starlettes. There were over four hundred girls registered to attend the event. Our young ladies, served as camp host. Their service required them to learn the camp ground rules, terrain, events/activities and schedule, prior to the arrival of the other campers. Elianah said, “It took a lot of work and patience to serve the other troops. We learned how to serve with a smile.” Their efforts helped Brownie Magic participants access the fun elements of the camp ground, and to return without injury, maintaining order and keeping the camp on schedule. The Junior girls lead the flag ceremony. Sister Burnett was proud of the leadership skills the girls were exhibiting during this event. She said, “It’s what we talked about at every meeting when we say to live by the Girl Scout Law. They were living it.” Other volunteers included Selena Montgomery, Monica Martin, Alex Poole, Quinita Ogletree, Michelle Muhammad and Yolanda Tisdom, Fred and Gerard Burnett came out and helped direct parking which was no easy task. Sister Burnett continued, “I thank all the volunteers for supporting this effort. It was a great experience for the girls and the leaders.”
After Brownie Magic, the troop enjoyed the camp amenities. Layla recalled, “I saw a deer at the camp, and one morning, we saw an armadillo outside of our cabin.” The girls had an opportunity sleep in cabins and tell stories at night. Sister Burnett recounted, “They were not allowed to tell ghost stories”. As always the Senior Girl Scouts (9th – 10th grade) took pride in modeling camp etiquette and wilderness survival, while teaching Brownies, Juniors and Cadettes how to enjoy nature. Adaiah said, “I got to play around and enjoy nature! I was excited because I finally got to go camping!”
On Sunday, November 24th several hundred members of First Metropolitan Church gathered for the celebration of the church’s 27th anniversary.
First Met’s founders and co-pastors John and Evelyn Ogletree spoke frankly about their 27 year journey; the good and the not so good as well as Pastor John Ogletree’s call to ministry after coming to Houston to attend law school, becoming an attorney and after two years practicing law answering that call. Read More….
There is no celebrations like a First Met Celebration. We are eager to bring in the New Year excitement. It is guaranteed that New Year’s Eve at First Met will be one to remember.
The Challenge is ON!!! Do you have the best Chili, or Gumbo? Yes! Well excellent, we WANT YOU to be a part of our annual Chili & Gumbo cook-off on December 31st at 8:30 pm. Come spice up the night with your famous Chili & Gumbo as the judges search for the best bowl. You could take home the title this year.
Directly after the cook-off we will have a concert in the Sanctuary featuring Recording Artist, J Shep & Standard. J Shep is a native of Houston Texas, but has taken the Gospel Industry by a complete storm with hits like, Let’s Go, Haven’t Forgot, I can depend on you, and a host of other great hits. J Shep has worked with artist such as, Hezekiah Walker, Edwin Hawkins, Phil Taver, Unquenchable Worshippers, Vernard Burton and many others. It is a great joy to welcome J Shep & Standard Muzik to First Met for New Year’s Eve.
As the last moments of 2013 come to an end we can expect a powerful word from our very own, Pastor Ogletree. Pastor O will also pray us into the new year. This night will be great on every level. We encourage everyone to come out to enjoy a fun, safe, and glorious event. Happy Holidays from First Metropolitan’s family & staff.
On Sunday, December 8, 2013 First Metropolitan Church implemented our first ever “Salute The Single Mother” event. This event was created by Pastor Ogletree to allow the single mothers of First Metropolitan and the community to feel special, loved, adored, and honored. As we know, Christmas is normally centered around the children, but during this time we wanted to let the single mothers know that they are appreciated for their countless hours of raising the wonderful children of our community.
The single mothers were able to enjoy a message delivered by Pastor Ogletree titled, “Hope during the Christmas Season”. The message encouraged everyone to never give up hope no matter what is taking place in your life. Directly after the message, Pastor O & Lady O had each single mother stand up for the celebration of the event. As each mother stood, Lady O welcomed them to service, and she explained how growing up her mother struggled to keep all of her children in great spirits during the Holiday season.
All of the mothers being honored at the event received a gift bag including, tickets to see the new movie “Mandela”, beauty products, gift certificates to various restaurants, perfume, and various items to show our appreciation of these strong single mothers. Several members became our “Secret Angels” by adopting a few single mothers and giving them monetary gifts to assist with special needs. Four deserving mothers received $100 gift cards from Pastor & Lady O, and over twenty mothers received $40 gift cards. All mothers also received bags of groceries from First Metropolitan Church’s food pantry.
“This event was a complete blessing to me. I appreciate First Metropolitan Church for hosting an event such as this one”, said Valencia Guinn.
We are so thrilled that we were able to uplift our beautiful single mothers. Pastor & Lady O would like everyone to know that this is the time to of giving, and take this time to do something special for someone else. We love each of you, and we look forward to making this event bigger and better in the future. Happy Holidays.
December 22, the historic Ensemble Theater will be performing Black Nativity at First Met, The Place Where You Belong! The performance will be in the sanctuary of First Met at 7 pm. The tickets for seats can be obtained by registering online (Tickets can be picked up in the front office). The $15 cost for the performance is being covered by First Met; thus the community can access this message of love for free.
Black Nativity is a retelling of the classic Nativity story by writer Langston Hughes. It contained an all -black cast, which performed traditional gospel style Christmas Carols, and a few additional songs that were written specifically for the show.
Black Nativity was one of the first plays written by an African-American, and was first performed on December 11, 1961. The show has annually been performed in Boston, Massachusetts, at Tremont Temple since 1969.
The Ensemble Theater was founded by the late George Hawkins in 1976. It was created to preserve the artistic expression and diversity in the arts. The theater is over 35 years old, and has become one of Houston’s top historical institutions.