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In 1983, members of the faith community in Liberty Hill decided they would hold an annual get together to celebrate Thanksgiving. That was the beginning of a multi-cultural, multi-race, non-denominational event that culminating in hundreds of folks – African American, Caucasian and Native American – gathering at the Liberty Hill Community Center recently for the silver anniversary event.
Hundreds of people in Liberty Hill? That’s correct. It was a standing-room-only crowd by the time Lancaster’s Rev. Gene Ghent, who is also the minister of music at Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church, concluded the opening prayer. Also attending this year’s event were ministers of other churches in the Liberty Hill area.
And the music? There was music in abundance, with traditional, gospel and modern renditions of Christian music brought forth by the Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church choir, a capella spiritual praises offered to the glory of God by members of the African-American churches in the area, and a tambourine-backed testimonial by Lancaster’s own LeRoy Mingo. As if the music were not enough, there was a rousing message by the Rev. Jerusha Gaither of Cedar Rock Baptist Church.
This annual event has become so popular that folks are attending from all over North and South Carolina. This year attendees came from as far away as Detroit, Mich., and Jacksonville, Fla.
“This was the first time I had attended this pre-Thanksgiving event at our community center but I’m very glad I did,” said Liberty Hill’s Terri Hoffman. “It was two hours or more after the event before my feet touched the ground again.”