Pianist Stan Whitmire opened the night with several songs on the piano. Then, Cana's Voice (Doug Anderson, TaRanda Greene Beene and Jody McBrayer) took the stage with "Heavenly Father" featuring TaRanda. I saw this trio at a hymn sing before they were officially Cana's Voice, but this was my first time to hear their songs from This Changes Everything (which if you don't have a copy, you should). Then, Doug was featured on "Love Anyway" and Jody on "All My Reasons Are You." Then, they sang "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," which is guaranteed to give you chills. Each of these artists are so amazing individually, but when they come together it's just incredible. Their harmonies and blend are unmatched. They ended their first set with "Jesus Never Fails" (my favorite) and "I Give It To You."
The video introduced Mark Lowry and then he came out from the back of the auditorium singing "What a Wonderful World." And in true Mark fashion, he danced with a few of the audience members during the song -- in a Baptist church, gasp! Of course then he joked about the different denominations and getting old. He also told the story of his motorcycle wreck, which I hadn't heard him ever tell in person. Only Mark Lowry could make a story about breaking your leg from a motorcycle accident so funny! Mark ended the first half with "How We Love." I think sometimes we forget what a great singer he is along with comedian.
For the second half, both Mark and Cana's Voice were on stage the full time. It was good to hear them all together. Mark put together the male quartet of him, Stan, Jody and Doug singing "He Touched Me." It was a great moment of the night!
Then, at one point Mark wandered again out into the audience. "They have hymnals!" he exclaimed. Then he encouraged everyone to pull out a hymnal, and he called out a number. The hymn was "Wonderful Grace of Jesus." We had a good congregational hymn sing with "Victory in Jesus" after that and then "I Know Whom I Have Believed." You could tell it was completely unplanned but the audience was loving the chance to sing these familiar songs along with the artists. Then, an audience member asked for "Sweet Sweet Spirit." And you could feel the sweet presence of the Holy Spirit in the church. It was such a beautiful moment.
Jody shared a little bit about what that hymn meant to him and how it reminded him of the church he grew up in. He talked about his dad who was a Baptist minister and the influence he had on his life. He said that they wanted the audience to be reminded that God loves you no matter what is going on in your life or what you are facing. Cana's Voice sang "Big Enough" and then the night closed with them joining Mark Lowry on "Mary, Did You Know."
There are still a couple of dates left with this tour. If it's in your area, don't miss it! It was a night I had been looking forward to for a while, and it did not disappoint!