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The Oak Ridge Boys will be among the performers for "Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting: Rejoice," a one-night movie event showing Wednesday at the AMC East Ridge.

To see it

“Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting: Rejoice” will begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday at AMC East Ridge 18, 5080 South Terrace. Tickets are $13.66 for all ages at https://tickets.fandango.com. The ticket link can be found at https://prayermeetingmovie.com.

Longtime disc jockey Larry Black believes he was spared by God to share a musical worship event coming to the big screen Wednesday night.

After being in a near-fatal ATV accident in 2015, Black, CEO of Nashville-based Gabriel Communications, recalls, "I asked God, 'Why spare me?' And his answer was, 'I have more for you.'

"It is my personal belief that I was spared for the purpose of fulfilling my mission to share the Gospel through story and song in 'Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings,'" he says. "I am humbled to have this uplifting night of worship come to theaters nationwide."

"Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting: Rejoice" will feature gospel songs and storytelling from top country artists. Ricky Skaggs, the Oak Ridge Boys, Larry Gatlin and The Gatlin Brothers, Gene Watson, John Conlee, Teea Goans, Jimmy Fortune and The Isaacs are featured in the 90-minute celebration, described as a "Holy Spirit-filled gathering of country music stories sharing their faith."

This is the first movie theater premiere of the series. Randy Sheeks, associate professor of music and coordinator of undergraduate church music studies at Lee University, sees the concert as the next step in the technological advancement of music.

"The American revivalist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries created a genre of Christian music rooted in popular music of the day," he explains. "The 20th century's technological advances made it possible for this populist musical genre to be broadcast across the globe, at first through radio/TV, recordings and now through the internet."

The concert, which emanates from an old country church setting, will be shown for one night only in more than 225 movie theaters across the country, including one in Chattanooga.

"It was named 'Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting' because that's what the 'let-your-hair-down' style of worship was called back in the day," Black says in a news release. "You went to Sunday morning all shined up, but Wednesday night was for relaxing and celebrating the Lord Jesus."

Viewers can expect songs such as "Victory In Jesus," "Wings of a Dove," "He Touched Me," "I'm Gonna Love You Through It" and "others you're sure to recognize and sing along," he says.

Sheeks says while he hasn't seen the movie, "it will be interesting to see how this music is portrayed. History can already attest that the American gospel genre established by singers like Ricky Skaggs, the Oak Ridge Boys and many more has left an indelible mark on the music and worship of the church.

"The contemporary sounds of popular commercial music that are prevalent in many churches today are there, in part, because of the influence of early and mid-20th century American gospel music."

Founded in 1996, Gabriel Communications specializes in "Reunion Gatherings." Black first applied the concept to the legends of country music, asking the performers who shaped country music to get together and talk about their history and sing a few songs. From this idea, "Country's Family Reunion" was born. Its success has spurred the creation of more than a dozen more such projects.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6281.

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