209 E. Madison Street
Bolton, Mississippi




March 12th, 4:00 p.m.



Evening Prayer


"Praising Hymn"



Pictured L-R: Penny Freund, alto; James Anderson, tenor; Marie Cunningham, flute & soprano; Adrienne Eckstein, flute; Lance Stewart, guitar & baritone; Sharon Hanks & Kerri Williams, soprano and Dawn Hess, violin. Not pictured--Kip Gill, pianist & Mary Ruth Jones, reader


On Sunday, March 12, 2017, a small informal group of church musicians will perform music from the Episcopal hymnbook at 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Bolton. The singing of hymns of praise and thanksgiving and those of grief and sorrow are as old as scripture and a few have been selected that are examples of both vocal and instrumental settings which honor God and engage with Him in the other form of prayer, music. Our selections come entirely from the Episcopal hymn book, which is a rich one indeed. It includes chants, plainsongs, and folk tunes, contemporary poetry, classic works by great masters, and new foundational works by newly emerging masters.

There are many, many denominations of the Christian faith in existence and their particular hymnbooks complement their own worship. But this book stands alone in representing the inclusiveness and rich diversity of the Episcopal Church’s people throughout the world. We hope you will join us and enjoy discovering with us the joy and marvelous musical offerings of your hymnbook.


Reception to follow in the Terry Brantley Parish House.



February 12, 2017,  4:00 p.m.



Evening Prayer


Sharon Miles, Soprano

Toby Barker, Accompanist


Sharon Miles with James Anderson at a New Stage Event


"I had a wonderful visit with the incredibly talented Sharon Miles who is in the cast of A Time to Kill at New Stage. Here we are backstage at our annual spring fundraiser Toast of Broadway." James Anderson


Sharon is a popular performer from Hattiesburg. Her concerts are known to be eclectic (sacred & secular selections) and have great audience appeal. James Anderson commented on Sharon's gifts to the arts: "Sharon shines in every role and her joy for life and her compassion for others make her singularly grand... She is a giving and gifted soul. I am honored to know her and to sing/act alongside her."


Reception to follow in the Terry Brantley Parish House.



November 13, 2016, 4:00 p.m.



Mississippi Boychoir

In Concert Following Evening Prayer




Reception in the Terry Brantley Parish Hall following the service.


Old-Time Gospel Sing


Sunday, October 9th at 4 p.m.





St. Mary's Episcopal Church is hosting an Old-Time Gospel Sing!

We are inviting area churches to send a small group (duet/trio/quartet) from your church to share ONE old-fashioned hymn with us!


  • We have a piano or you can sing a cappella or with a guitar
  • No electric equipment needed - small church with great acoustics


Please contact James Anderson if you can join us. Please send the name of your selection by Monday, October 3rd:

email: grtrbolton@yahoo.com

text message: 601.842.5683


We need the selections early so that we may avoid duplications.

This event will be a great way to highlight local groups and to celebrate the Holy Spirit in song -- Old School Style!
We hope that you will join us for this Harvest of Hymns.


September 11th, 2016, 4:00 p.m.


Jubilee Singers to Perform at St. Mary's Church




On Sunday, September 11, 4:00 p.m., the internationally acclaimed Jubilee Singers of Hinds Community College, Utica Branch, will perform at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bolton. The historic men’s ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Bobby Cooper, a native of Bolton.

This year will mark Dr. Cooper’s 44th year as choir director at the Utica based college, making him one of the longest serving faculty member in its history. Dr. Cooper’s reputation as a first-rate choral director is widespread. Today’s students who take part in the Jubilee Singers demonstrate his skilled leadership with their outstanding performances – both nationally and internationally.

In 1972, Dr. Cooper arrived at Utica Junior College, formerly known as the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute for the Training of Colored Young Men and Women, to teach in the Music Department. Ten years later, in 1982, Utica Junior College became a branch of Hinds Community College in Raymond. After studying the musical background of Utica Institute, established in 1903, Dr. Cooper decided to revive the Jubilee Singers, an organization dating back to 1925.

As early as 1926, the Jubilee Singers began making bus tours throughout the United States. The money they raised from concerts helped to support the Utica Institute. The singers, whose style was inspired by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville, performed in New York City as well as other major cities across America. Their memorable performances helped to establish the Utica Institute as one of America’s premiere colleges for the advancement of colored students.

In 1972, after Dr. Cooper joined the Utica College faculty as music instructor and choir director, he revived the name, Jubilee Singers, and accepted the challenge of reestablishing the unique style of singing that was made popular during the 1920s. "The early singers performed Negro spirituals to help raise funds for the school during the 40-year Holtzclaw era," stated Cooper. "I was so moved by the original group’s history, dedication and purpose, I felt compelled to revive the unique quality of the historical plantation-era music."

To attain the same quality of sound, Dr. Cooper worked from the original music sheets of the early 1920s. Today that unique sound has become the "hallmark signature" for the Jubilee Singers of Hinds Community College as they receive accolades from audiences all across America and abroad.

On Sunday, September 11, Evening Prayer will take place at St Mary’s prior to the performance. Also perform in addition to the Jubilee Singers will be The Daughters of Bobby Coopers, a women’s ensemble. Come and enjoy the music and let Dr. Cooper know how much we appreciate his wonderful work for the past 44 years.

Following the concert, a reception honoring Dr. Cooper and the singers will be held in the Terry Brantley Parish House.





January 10, 2016, 4:00 PM

Sung Compline
Led By David O'Steen
Organist & Choirmaster, St. Philip's Jackson

Followed By A Secular Treat: Broadway Old & New
With David O'Steen & Shirley Sanders Foster









Second Sundays at St. Mary's


December 13, 2015, 4:00 PM

The Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble “Seasons and Holy Days”



The Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble a cappella choir, under the direction of Lynne Pickett, will perform “Seasons and Holy Days”, a service of music, scripture, poetry and prayers spanning the entire liturgical year.

Reception to follow in the Terry Brantley Parish Hall.



November 8th, 4:00 p.m.



Holy Eucharist, Rev. Billie Abraham Celebrant


The Mississippi Girlchoir





The Mississippi Girlchoir is Mississippi’s premier choral organization for girls in grades 3-12. The organization was founded in 1995 with just 17 young women and has grown to more than 100 voices divided into four distinct choirs: Bel Canto (9th-12th)-Touring/ProfessionalChoir; Lyrica (7th-9th); Voices in Training for Bel Canto; Jubilate (5th-6th)-Intermediate Choir; Prima (3rd-4th)-Beginner Choir.

The Jackson based group is under the direction of Kristy Brumfield.


Reception to follow in the Terry Brantley Parish Hall 



December 13, 2015, 4:00 PM


The Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble “Seasons and Holy Days”



The Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble a cappella choir, under the direction of Lynne Pickett, will perform “Seasons and Holy Days”, a service of music, scripture, poetry and prayers spanning the entire liturgical year.


Reception to follow in the Terry Brantley Parish Hall.



October 11th, 4:00 p.m.



Evening Prayer


Capital Brass





Second Sundays at St. Mary's will feature Evening Prayer and a concert by Capital Brass. Capital Brass, widely known as one of Jackson's premiere performing groups, is a member of the Mississippi Arts Commission Artist Roster and performs for large and small groups throughout Mississippi and neighboring states. Their repertoire ranges from Renaissance to Jazz. Prepare to be amazed!

Capital Brass features six outstanding performing artists: Robert Cheesman, trumpet; Wayne Linehan, trumpet; Mimi Draut Linehan, horn; Ken Lyon, trombone; Tex Chapman, tuba and Sherwood Berthold, percussion. All are professional musicians and have performed with numerous professional ensembles, including the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra.


September 13th, 4:00 p.m.


Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Homecoming



Holy Eucharist

The Very Rev. Billie Abraham, Officiating
The Jubilee Singers & Daughters of Bobby Cooper
In Concert



The September Second Sundays service will feature two outstanding performing groups: The Jubilee Singers and The Daughters of Bobby Cooper. The concert and Eucharist are in celebration of St. Mary’s Fifth Anniversary Homecoming, the church having been re-opened in October 2010. The Jubilee Singers are recognized nationally and internationally as one of the South’s premiere male ensembles. The Daughters of Bobby Cooper, recently organized, are also making their mark in the field of music. Both groups are under the direction of Dr. Bobby G. Cooper who has been with the Utica Branch of Hinds Community College for approximately 44 years.

A reception in the Parish Hall will follow the service.



Dr. Mandy Spivak,


Soprano Performing the Sermon


August 9th, 4:00 p.m.





St. Mary’s welcomes Dr. Mandy Spivak, soprano, as soloist for the August 9th Holy Eucharist. She will perform a program of songs celebrating Mary, the Mother of Jesus: Quia respexit & Et exultavit, Bach; Ave Maria numbers by Cherubini, Schubert & Dvorak; Salve Regina by Faure; and Ave Maria by Bach/Gounod.

Dr. Spivak holds a Doctor of Musical Arts in Vocal Performance from the University of Miami. She was Assistant Professor of Music at West Virginia Wesleyan College and Adjunct Professor of Voice at West Virginia University. Recently Dr. Spivak relocated to Clinton where she continues her performing career.


Duo-Harpsichord Concert at St. Mary’s

October 14, 2012



On October 14, 4:00 p.m. John Paul and Shawn Leopard will present a duo-harpsichord recital for the Second Sunday Series at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Bolton. The gifted musicians, both associated with St. Andrew’s Cathedral, began their collaboration in 1996 to explore the repertoire of music written for two harpsichords. Since that time, they have toured extensively in the Southeastern United States and recorded with Lyrichord Disc of New York City and Centaur Disc of Baton Rouge.

John Paul, well-known as organist of St. Andrew’s Cathedral was born in England. He was self-taught until the age of eighteen when an audition earned him entrance to the Royal Academy of Music in London. Here, he excelled in piano, organ and harpsichord. He received his performance diploma from the Royal Academy of Music and an honors degree from the University of London. In 1965, he immigrated to the United States to assume the position he still holds as organist-choirmaster of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Cathedral. In 1971, John Paul furthered his education by receiving a doctoral degree from the University of Colorado.

Leopard received a Master of Arts Degree in Musicology from Indiana University with special emphasis in early music performance. Currently, she is teaching and performing in Jackson where she is associated with St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church as a professional soloist and consultant. Her specialty in early music performance, as a continuo player and harpsichordist, has been admired while performing with various groups throughout the Southeast.

The service at St. Mary’s will begin at 4:00 p.m. with Evening Prayer followed by the harpsichord concert. Featured will be the works of J. S. Bach and other selections for two harpsichords. A reception to meet and greet the performers will be held in the parish hall following the concert.

By Rebecca Blackwell Drake


August 12, 4:00 p.m.


Temperance Babcock, a classical trained violinist, will perform during the Holy Eucharist at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Bolton, on Sunday, August 12. Temperance is a versatile musician who enjoys sharing her talent in a variety of ways - whether performing classical selections with the Jackson Symphony or jamming with a bluegrass group.

Temperance, an Oklahoma native, has become a well-known fiddler with the Mississippi bluegrass scene. She has been playing the violin for over 20 years, having studied with such world-renowned teachers as Felicia Moye at Oklahoma State University.

A growing interest in bluegrass music took Temperance to Nashville, where she studied with Grand Ol' Opry fiddle players Daniel Carwile and Hoot Hester, and recorded with members of Ricky Skagg's band, Kentucky Thunder.

Since moving to Jackson, Mississippi, she has teamed up with guitarist, banjo player, and well-known radio host, Bill Ellison, with whom she first collaborated on Lomax The Hound of Music.



Jazz Eucharist at St. Mary's

July 8, 2012



Howard Jones, Dr. London Branch and John Paul


On July 8th, a Jazz Eucharist was celebrated that featured music by Howard Jones Jazz. Howard Jones, trombone; Dr. London Branch, trumpet; and John Paul, piano.



The HIMSingers Featured
June 10, 2012


The HIMSingers

(Left to right) Sam Puckett, Debbie O'Neal, Becky Brown and Linda Edwards



Christmas Bazaar Highly Successful

Friends and members of St. Mary's and St. Alban's churches took a leap of faith on December 3rd by scheduling a "Christmas Bazaar" at St. Mary’s. The bazaar was much like the ones the church hosted in years past. The leap of faith resulted in a Christmas miracle as the small band of workers managed to pull off an event that netted the church in excess of $5,200. 


Those attending the bazaar enjoyed a chicken-spaghetti lunch made from a church recipe dating back to the 1930s. Those attending the event were also treated to live music on the grounds and a display of antique cars. To everyone’s delight, an old-fashioned calliope owned by Dan Mash burn of Bolton was parked on the church grounds playing happy tunes. In the nave of the church, Sid Champion settled down at the 1902 Este organ and played Christmas music as people strolled through the old church admiring the beauty of the stained glass windows and the Gothic architecture. It was a great day for St. Mary’s.

Reverend Billie Abraham, rector of St. Alban’s, Bovina, has been instrumental in helping to reopen the beautiful little church that closed its doors several decades ago. The church now enjoys a new air-conditioning and heating unit, a new roof, and a highly successful Second Sunday service that draws people from Hinds and Warren Counties.





Christmas at St. Mary's

Monday, December 19, 2011

6:00 p.m.


On Monday, December 19, 6:00 p.m., the Christmas Bells will be ringing, inviting everyone to attend the special Christmas service at St. Mary's, Bolton. The church will be decorated for Christmas, including the traditional greenery and the church's beloved nativity scene on display. All of the old traditions of St. Mary's are being revived and the communities of St. Alban's and St. Mary's invite you to join in the celebration.

The service will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a Christmas Concert presented by St. Alban's Choir under the direction of Joan Leese, choirmaster and organist. The Celebration of the Holy Eucharist will take place at 6:30 featuring John Maxwell, well-known playwright and actor from Jackson, who will perform his Joseph monologue as the sermon.

Maxwell, who has blazed the New Testament trail with unique and original one-man dramatic interpretations of Biblical characters, will perform his newest reincarnation of a religious figure - Joseph, the surrogate father of Jesus. Other Biblical characters performed by Maxwell are: Peter, Paul, Barnabas, John the Baptist and Judas.

"This is what's so exciting about drama," states Maxwell. "You take characters like Joseph and tell the Christmas Story from HIS perspective.  Joseph is given the silent treatment in the Gospels. You don't hear a lot about him, but oh what an enormously crucial character he was in the life of Jesus."   Maxwell suggests that, for most people, the role of Joseph is influenced by Christmas pageants presented by young children: "We are comfortable seeing Jesus standing behind Mary in the classical Christmas tableau," states Maxwell, "where he is about as useful as a hat rack or a floor lamp." 

While researching Joseph's story, Maxwell was fascinated with the challenges that faced Joseph and Mary as they raised the Son of God.  To best tell the story of Joseph, Maxwell first had to address the many questions that came to mind while writing the dialogue: "How do you parent and discipline the Son of God? What does Jesus come into the world knowing already…everything?  Would Jesus inherit any genes at all from Mary or was it all just all about Mary carrying the baby Jesus?  The baby was certainly no ordinary baby and Mary and Joseph had to wonder at times what they were about to deliver into the world."

Maxwell's Joseph monologue also explores the relationship between Mary and Joseph and their unusual situation. When Mary told Joseph the story of her conception, he was disbelieving.  It was only after the angel visited Joseph that he accepted the virgin birth. The monologue then delves into the guilt Joseph felt for not believing his wife. Joseph wonders, "What could I possibly tell Mary that would restore her faith in me?"

"I think it's a really fascinating way to look at the Christmas story" states Maxwell. "It asks the audience to see the story anew.  Of course that is the power of the presentation. Drama does not let you keep stories of the Bible in a safe place in your closet after hearing them in Bible School.  It forces you to think and make decisions."

As the sound of Christmas music and the smell of Christmas greenery fills St. Mary's nave, the story of Joseph will stir the emotions and bring our thoughts to the beauty of the season of Christ's birth.  "O Come Let Us Adore Him, Christ the Lord."

Everyone is invited to attend the Christmas Celebration at St. Mary's Church and experience the special gift of Christmas as presented by John Maxwell.  A reception will follow in the parish hall.


By Rebecca B. Drake



Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble

December 11, 2011


Photograph by Monte Kraus


The Galloway Methodist Concordia Ensemble was featured in concert on December 11, 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary's, Bolton. The a cappella choir presented Seasons and Holy Days, a service of music, scripture, poetry and prayers spanning the entire liturgical year.



Lester Senter Performs at St. Mary's

Sunday, November 13, 2011

On Sunday, November 13, 2011, Lester Senter, mezzo soprano, performed a collection of song from her CD, Songs from the Natchez Trace, for the Sundays at St. Mary's Series. She will be accompanied by Colman Pearce, former conductor of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.

Senter holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a master's degree in Piano Performance from L.S.U., a certificate from the University of Music and Dramatic Arts Mozarteum, Salzburg, Austria, and a D. M. A. in piano and voice, the first double doctorate presented by the University of Texas in Austin.

Over the years, Senter has appeared with leading opera companies, festivals and symphonies across America as well as in Ireland and other countries. Her versatile repertoire includes over 60 operatic roles. Senter has enjoyed an extensive career encompassing theatre, vocal and symphonic accomplishments.

Senter has recorded eleven CDs including: The Memory is a Living Thing based on the writings of Eudora Welty; Florida Song Book, songs by Florida Ann Davis McCaleb, the young niece of Jefferson Davis - song book housed in the Vicksburg Old Court House Museum; Lovely Ladies & Their Lyrics, songs from the Nineteenth Century; The Owl and the Pussy Cat, songs from the collection of Mrs. Jefferson Davis; Robinson, The Pleasant History of an Unusual Cat – based on a story by Walter Anderson; In His Presence, a collection of favorite hymns; Somebody's Darling, songs from the Siege of Vicksburg and Christmas Treasures.

Recognized as one of Jackson's most popular performing artists, Senter was the 2001 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts and also a 2004 recipient of The Mississippi Honored Artist Award from the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Accompanying Senter will be Colman Pearce, a native of Dublin, Ireland, who was educated at the University College in Dublin. From 1987 to 1999 he was principal conductor and music director of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and, in his final year, was recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts in the State of Mississippi.


By Rebecca B. Drake



Jubilee Singers

Hinds Community College, Utica

Sunday, October 9, 2011



The famed Jubilee Singers of Hinds Community College, Utica, performed for the Second Sundays at St. Mary's series. The concert kicks off the Jubilee Singers' 40th year under the direction of Dr. Bobby Cooper who has led the singers to national and international fame.


The concert marks one of the first of the 2011-2012 season for the Jubilee Singers. "This year will celebrate my 40th year as choir director at Hinds Community College in Utica," Cooper commented. "I'm looking forward to a full season of performances. I'm also excited about seeing and visiting with many of my former students who will be returning to share in the celebrations." Dr. Cooper's reputation as a first-class choral director is widespread. The students who take part in the Jubilee Singers demonstrate his skilled leadership with their first-class performances.

Dr. Cooper arrived at Utica Community College in 1972 to teach in the music department. After learning the "musical background" of the colored institute, he decided to revive the Utica Institute Jubilee Singers, an organization of singers that dates back to 1925 and the earliest history of the Utica Normal and Industrial Institute for the Training of Colored Young Men and Women. The original Jubilee Singers were organized by Dr. William Holtzclaw, president of the Utica Institute from 1903-1943. As early as 1926, the group began making bus tours of the United States. The money they received for concerts went to help finance the Utica based school. The singers, whose style was inspired by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville, performed in New York as well as other major cities across America. Those memorable performances helped to establish Utica Institute as one of America's premiere institutions for the advancement of colored students.

In 1972, after Dr. Cooper joined the Utica College faculty as music instructor and choir director, he revived the name, Jubilee Singers, and accepted the challenge of reestablishing the unique style of singing popular during the 1920s. "The early singers performed Negro spirituals to help raise funds for the school during the 40-year Holtzclaw era," stated Cooper. "I was so moved by the original group's history, dedication and purpose, I felt compelled to revive the unique quality of the historical plantation-era music."

To attain the unique quality of the original Jubilee Singers, Dr. Cooper worked from the original music sheets of days gone by. Today that unique sound has become the hallmark signature for the group. In keeping with the original Jubilee Singers (1925-1926), the talented singers receive accolades from audiences all across America as well as abroad.

In recent years the Hinds Community College Jubilee Singers have performed for the Congressional Black Caucus' Annual Legislative Conference and the 1999 American Celebration of Music tour of Italy. From the mid 1970s to the mid 1980s, the singers were part of Opera South, which at that time was the only black opera company in the world.




Homecoming at St. Mary's

Sunday, September 11th


The Very Reverend Billie Abraham was honored by the St. Mary's family with a certificate of appreciation -- "For all that you have done and Continue to do for St. Mary's Episcopal Church. Because of your vision, your enthusiasm, your compassion, your quiet zeal, your gentle and instructive guidance, St. Mary's is born anew."

 <click to see the certificate>


St. Alban's Choir, accompanied by Joan Leese, organist, performed
a sacred concert commemorating the First Anniversary of the
reopening of St. Mary's.


 Sandra Melsheimer and Bridging the Gap provided entertainment for the reception following the service. Bridging The Gap is a local band made up of members from Warren and Rankin Counties. The Band strives to “bridge the gap” between traditional Celtic and American music.



Various Settings of Ave Maria
Sunday, August 14th

Anna McDonald, Soprano
Accompanied by Don Messer 


 Don Messer, Piano and Anna Dennery McDonald, Soprano


<click for more>

Brick Street Barbershop Quartet

 July 10, 2011


Featured singers with the Brick Street Barbershop Quartet left to right:
Jeff Henegar, tenor; Greg Gibson, lead, Brad Feaster, bass, and Bill Bacon, baritone.


On Sunday, July 10, 4:00 p.m., Clinton’s Brick Street Barbershop Quartet will be featured in the Second Sunday at St. Mary’s series. For almost two decades the famed quartet has been entertaining standing-room only audiences, not only in Mississippi but also throughout the south. Their unique blend of harmony and comedy has made them one of the most sought after performing groups in the state.

In 1996, when the quartet was formed, the singers elected to name the group the Brick Street Barbershop Quartet. The name was reflective of Clinton’s distinctive brick streets which identify the historic business district.

Featured in the barbershop quartet are Jeff Henegar, tenor, Greg Gibson, lead, Brad Feaster, bass, and Bill Bacon, baritone. The men are also talented off stage: Jeff Henegar of Bolton is an Associate Professor of Pathology at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; Greg Gibson of Clinton is Public Relations and Multimedia Coordinator for the Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation; Brad Feaster of Clinton is the Internal Auditor for Mississippi’s Public Employees Retirement System and Bill Bacon is the Music Minister for First Baptist Church in Clinton, a position he has held for thirty-five years.

The Brick Street Barbershop Quartet is well-known for their crowd-pleasing concerts. Whether a 1950s “doo-wop” song, a tender barbershop ballad, a patriotic song, or a side-splitting comedy number, the quartet never fails to win over an audience. The current repertoire consists of songs such as The Star Spangled Banner, It Is Well With My Soul, Yesterday, Let Me Call You Sweetheart, Sh-Boom and numerous other tunes found on the Oldies but Goodies list.


Pentecost Jazz Eucharist


Music by Howard Jones Jazz

June 12, 2011



The Very Reverend Billie Abraham, Celebrant
St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Bovina


Pentecost Jazz Eucharist, celebrated by the Reverend Billie Abraham, with music by Howard Jones Jazz. Wear Red!



Stations of the Cross
April 10, 2011
4:00 p.m.


Stations of the Cross with Sacred Motets

The Rev. Deacon James Henry LeBatard,
St. Pierre's Episcopal Church, Gautier, leader


Holy Eucharist & Healing Service

The Very Reverend Billie Abraham,
St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Bovina, celebrant


The Stations of the Cross (Way of the Cross) imitates the age old practice of visiting the places of Jesus' Passion in the Holy Land by early Christian pilgrims. Today, it is a devotion to the Passion of Christ which recalls a series of events at the end of Jesus' life from his condemnation to his burial.


Station One:   Jesus is condemned to death

Station Two:   Jesus takes up his cross

Station Three: Jesus falls the first time

Station Four:   Jesus meets his afflicted mother

Station Five:   The cross is laid on Simon of Cyrene

Station Six:     A woman wipes the face of Jesus

Station Seven: Jesus falls a second time

Station Eight:  Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem

Station Nine:   Jesus falls a third time

Station Ten:    Jesus is stripped of his garments

Station Eleven: Jesus is nailed to the cross

Station Twelve: Jesus dies on the cross

Station Thirteen: The body of Jesus is placed in his mother's arms

Station Fourteen: Jesus is laid in the tomb


<click for more>



John Maxwell's Monologue

"Me and My Shadow ~ The Story of Judas"


Sunday, March 13, 2011


On March 13th, John Maxwell, master playwright, presented his monologue Me and My Shadow ~ The Story of Judas. The monologue served as the sermon prior to the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. Maxwell, a native of Mississippi and a graduate of Ole Miss, has achieved recognition throughout the south as a writer and actor. The Story of Judas represents his most recent Biblical monologue.

Maxwell commented on his depiction of the Biblical character Judas Iscariot, who agreed to betray Jesus by handing him over to the chief priests to be murdered: "The Bible gives scant detail about Judas, and yet he is easily one of the most compelling characters in the New Testament. Judas has been presented in every possible light from the devil incarnate to a misunderstood Zealot. Some say he was the best friend of Jesus while others say he was an outsider and a loner. Ultimately, you just have to do as much research as you can then go with what you know."

Regarding his use of the Bible to create monologues, Maxwell remarked: "I’ve been presenting religious monologues on characters from the New Testament for over ten years now. I have nothing against the Old Testament, I just find the Gospels so compelling. However, Genesis is my favorite book and I’m sure Abraham is not far in the future."

When questioned about his preference for writing religious monologues, Maxwell explains "I feel called to do them. I know how that must sound, but I feel a genuine call from God. I had, quite simply, a religious experience that I could not ignore." As a result of his "experience," Maxwell recently founded Fish Tale Group, a non-profit organization whose mission is to revitalize interest in scripture using modern drama as the catalyst. "I discovered drama in the church," said Maxwell, "And it is one of the most exciting theatre experiences in my life."

"The best drama in the world is found in the scriptures" said Maxwell. "I take my cue here from the best, William Faulkner. He was constantly getting ideas from the Old Testament. I love putting flesh and blood on the calcified bones of these characters. I love putting them into the ‘now’, I love jacking them up and re-introducing them to audiences of not just the ‘churched’, but the ‘un-churched’ as well. You don’t have to be a Christian to share a commonality with these people. The Bible is wonderful in exploring the universal human dilemmas that we all face. One of the most surprising responses I’ve received from those who saw the show ‘Me and My Shadow’ are those people who tell me, ‘It hit too close to home.’ And, isn’t that what good drama is all about?"

The Reverend Billie Abraham, rector of St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Bovina, commented on Maxwell’s monologues and the moving effect his presentations have on audiences: "I have seen John's original monologues portraying Paul, John the Baptist, Peter, and Judas. John Maxwell is no longer John Maxwell when he is performing. He is the character he is playing. His characters are vulnerable; he lets me see into their souls. What I recognize are the human traits we share; joy and grief, certainty and confusion, loyalty and betrayal. Ultimately, John's portrayal of biblical characters points to God's mercy and forgiveness."




Jubilee Singers at St. Mary's Church


February 13, 2011


On February 13, 4:00 p.m., The Jubilee Singers of Hinds Community College, Utica, performed a sacred concert at St. Mary's Church. The group under the direction of Dr. Bobby Cooper, formerly from Bolton, sang before a overflowing audience.



Viola Dacus at St. Mary’s Church

January 16, 2011


On January, 9th, 4:00 p.m. at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bolton, Viola Dacus, mezzo soprano, performed the song cycle Frauenliebe und Leben (Op. 42) by Robert Schumann. She was accompanied by Carol Joy Sparkman, a member of the Mississippi College music faculty. Dr. Dacus is currently a part-time instructor of voice at Mississippi College.

Dacus received her Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Mississippi and her Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees (both in Vocal Performance) from Louisiana State University. The subject of her doctoral monograph was the songs of German born composer Felix Wolfes. She continues to promote his lieder in both recital and lecture recital formats including presentations at both the Texoma and the Southern Regional Conferences of NATS (National Association of Teachers Singing).

Dacus has performed regionally as a recitalist as well as in opera and oratorio venues. She has performed with such organizations as Baton Rouge Opera, Ohio Light Opera, Mississippi Opera, Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Meridian Symphony Orchestra, members of the Louisiana Philharmonic, and the Manhattan Philharmonic in a performance of Verdi's Requiem at Carnegie Hall. Recent performances include concerts throughout the Southeast as well as in Israel, Jordan, and Greece. Upcoming engagements include Handel's Messiah in Lafayette, Louisiana; the world premier of a song cycle composed by Dr. James Sclater, Reflections in the Mirror of Childhood, which will be performed with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in March 2011; and a performance of Mozart's Requiem at Avery Fisher Hall in New York City.

In past years, Dacus has served on the faculties of Phillips University in Enid, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University, as well as having held interim positions at Southeastern Louisiana University and Louisiana State University.




Christmas Services at St. Mary's


For the first time in almost two decades, St. Mary’s, Bolton, decorated for Advent which begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the day before Christmas. Two services, were presented by St. Alban’s Episcopal Church and members and friends of St. Mary’s, celebrated the season.


Advent Lessons and Carols

Sunday, December 12, 2010, 4:00 p.m.


On Sunday, December 12, 4:00 p.m., the Church of the Holy Trinity Choir of Vicksburg presented the service which featured Lessons and Carols for the Christmas season. Dorothy Brasfield of Edwards served as organist and choir-master. A reception was held in the parish hall following the service.



A Christmas Celebration of the Holy Eucharist &
"A Christmas Memory"
December 21, 2010, 6:30 p.m.


On Tuesday, December 21, 6:30 p.m., the service at St. Mary's featured a Christmas Celebration of the Holy Eucharist, The Reverend Billie Abraham, rector, St. Alban's Episcopal Church, Bovina, officiated. The sermon for the Christmas special was A Christmas Memory, by Truman Capote, adapted and narrated by James Anderson, Director of the Chimneyville Readers Theater. Also featured in the reading was Bettye Edwards and John Howell. A reception was held in the parish hall following the service.

<Click for more>



Evening Prayer and Dedicatory Organ Recital
Sunday, October 10th, 4:00 p.m.


James Anderson of Bolton and Deacon James Henry LeBatard of Gautier plan
dedicatory organ recital at St. Mary’s Church, Bolton, for October 10, 4:00 p.m.


On Sunday, October 10th, 4:00 p.m., St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Bolton will once again open its doors for worship. Harvey Smith from St. Alban’s, Bovina, will officiate. Immediately following Evening Prayer, Rite II, there will be an organ recital dedicating the 1902 Estey Artist Reed Organ which James Anderson recently gifted to the church in memory of his parents, Vera and Andy Anderson.

Guest organist J. T. Anglin of Gulfport will perform the dedicatory recital. “The Reed Organ was ‘in residence’ at St. Pierre’s Episcopal Church in Gautier,” commented James Henry LeBatard, musician and deacon at St. Pierre’s. “During the years Anglin served as organist, 1986-1997, the organ was played every Sunday and on all Holy Days. Anglin is very well acquainted with the Reed Organ and can produce more sound from the instrument than anyone who has ever played it. He has a special affection for the Estey Organ and looks forward to playing classical selections by J. S. Bach, Handel, Franck, and Mozart.”

Anglin is currently organist and choirmaster at St. Peter’s-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church, Gulfport, where he has served for the past decade or more. He is also choral director at Ocean Springs Middle School. Anglin is presently completing his master’s degree in music from William Carey University. During the summer of 2009, he had the wonderful opportunity to study in Gratz, Austria, a country well-known for its magnificent organs.

During the dedicatory recital, Anglin will perform an operatic prayer, Pieta Signore (Have Mercy, Lord) by Allesandro Stradella, an Italian composer from the Baroque Era. Also featured will be the song Pie Jesu (Merciful Jesus, You who take away the sins of the world, Grant them peace, Grant them everlasting peace) from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem Mass. This beautiful and emotionally charged work will be performed by Anglin and LeBatard in memory of James Anderson’s parents.

There will be a reception held in the church parish hall following the recital. The public is invited to enjoy the fall-themed menu planned and prepared by members of St. Mary's and St. Alban's. Tours of St. Mary’s historic library will be offered. During the reception note cards and 8 x 10 prints featuring a sketch of St. Mary’s will be available for purchase. Also, a Civil War Tribute Quilt designed by Cella Rich and sewn by Kenon Ruska will be on display and raffle tickets sold. The raffle drawing for the quilt will be held November 20 with all proceeds donated to the Episcopal Church Women for Community Outreach.



Work Days at St. Mary's


Excerpt from the Hinds County Gazette

August 26, 2010


In preparation for reopening the historic church, members of St. Alban’s designated two Saturdays as “work days”. The first work day was held August 21st and participants of all faiths came from Edwards, Bolton and Raymond to help with the clean-up. During this time, all of the pews and woodwork in the church, as well as the beautiful stained glass windows, were cleaned and repaired. The next work day was held Saturday, August 28th from 8:00 a.m. until noon with a picnic following.

Among those attending the first work day were Carolyn and Marty Mellon, former members of St. Mary’s, and Dan and Brenda Mashburn. Dan, a long time member of the Bolton Methodist Church, recalled growing up in Bolton and going to school in St. Mary’s parish hall.

“The Methodist, Baptist and Episcopal churches were like families in the community,” said Mashburn. Even after St. Mary’s closed its doors, Dan made sure that the lights on the cross above the entrance remained lit. “Only once did the lights on the cross go out” stated Dan, “and that was when Katrina hit.”


Kenon Ruska and Harvey Smith - God Loveth a Cheerful Worker!

Jack Hite from Bolton Baptist Church cleans off sidewalks

Jim Price cleans the stained glass window
and woodwork over the high altar

Sherry Horan cleans the woodwork

Margie Scott polishes the brass cross and other church treasures

Beth Guynes, senior warden at St. Alban’s, cleans the sanctuary

Jim Drake, Bobby Barlow and Jerry McWilliams clean pew cushions

Lil Lovett from Edwards organizes a cleaning assembly line

Dan and Brenda Mashburn, members of Bolton Methodist, join the excitement of seeing St. Mary’s reopened


Work crew pauses for picnic at the lake house of the Mellon family



According to The Rev. Billie Abraham, “Bishop Duncan Gray III, visited St. Alban’s several weeks ago and was not at all surprised that St. Alban’s had come forward with an offer to help revitalize St. Mary’s. The common denominator was an appreciation for history. St. Alban’s is preparing to celebrate its 153rd anniversary on the last weekend of October. St. Mary’s also has a long history, but it does not have an active congregation at this time. That is changing!”

In response to St. Alban’s desire to help revive St. Mary’s, the Episcopal Diocese gave Rev. Abraham permission to reopen the church and celebrate the Holy Eucharist once a quarter. Assisting her efforts will be Harvey Smith, Lay Worship Leader from St. Alban’s, who will lead Evening Prayer once a month.

“Terry and Charlie Brantley, members of St. Alban’s church and residents of Edwards, were responsible for getting the two churches together,” The Rev. Abraham commented. “Terry and Charlie are blessed with an extra sense when it comes to networking. They pulled together citizens of Bolton and members of St. Albans and scheduled work days so the church could be returned to its proper use - a place of worship for a faith community.”


“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise:

be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.” Psalms 100:4


Rebecca Blackwell Drake



Copyright (c) St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 2010. All Rights Reserved

Webpage design by James Drake


Contact webmaster@stmarysbolton.org


DHTML JavaScript Menu By Milonic