Candlelight Service Honors Lives Lost In April 27, 2011 Storms
RAINSVILLE, Ala.- New artist Victoria Griffith recently performed, along with legendary singer/songwriter Ginny Owens, at the Rainsville Tornado Memorial Concert, an event held in remembrance of the five tornadoes that swept through DeKalb County, Ala., on April 27, 2011, demolishing hundreds of homes, businesses and farm buildings, and ultimately taking the lives of 35 county residents. Griffith is a resident of DeKalb County.
"I was honored to be asked to participate in such a healing service," Griffith says. "When you go through times of such incredible tragedy it's difficult not to question God's purpose. That's when we have to trust that His plan is perfect." Griffith shared songs from Wellspring In the Wilderness, her debut CD due out Fall 2012, and closed with the song "I Place My Trust In You."
Griffith says she also was honored to share the stage with Owens, whom she reveres. Owens reciprocated the compliment.
"Victoria's voice is truly stunning!" says Owens. "You can hear the passion and sincerity of her heart in every note she sings. She is a true talent with a deeper truth to share."
The service, held at Rainsville First Baptist Church, began with friends and family members of the tornadoes' victims lighting a candle in honor of their loved ones, and ended with a closing prayer by the church's pastor, Jeff Mann.
Few in the tight-knit community were unaffected by the tornadoes. Griffith notes that while her family suffered little physical damage to their property, they lost family friends to the storm.
"When the first set of storms came through, my husband told me to take our newborn baby and get into the bathroom. His tone was so serious that I knew it must be bad, because he is typically such a calm person," Griffith says. "I remember gazing down at my sweet baby girl thinking, 'How am I going to protect her?' I felt God tell me, 'You can't, but I can.' I knew at that moment our safety was out of my control. We had no idea that the worst was not behind, but ahead of us."
After the tornadoes swept through, the area looked a bomb had been dropped, Griffith remembers.
"Four of the five tornadoes that touched down in Alabama were classified as F5s, with winds reaching 300 miles per hour," she says. "That's strong enough to literally rip the bark off of trees and throw automobiles the length of a football field. Before the storms were over, 238 people in Alabama were killed, including a family friend who was only 20 years old. She and her husband had just found out they were expecting their second child."
For more information about Griffith and her upcoming CD, Wellspring In the Wilderness, visit www.victoriagriffithmusic.com.
Photo caption: Victoria Griffith, left, and Ginny Owens, center, meet up after the Rainsville Memorial Tornado Concert. Also pictured, far right, is musician Kyle Matthews. (J. Clifton, Inc. photo)
About Victoria Griffith:
Griffith is a small town girl with a big city voice who is set to capture the attention of Christian music fans across the country with the release of her debut project, Wellspring in the Wilderness. Featuring production by Nashville music industry veteran Michael Puryear, the CD features 10 songs that exude hope and grace, while perfectly showcasing Griffith's stunning, country-inflected vocals.
"I was intimately involved with selecting the songs for the album," Griffith says. "There are plenty of hard times in this world, and a lot of people just lose heart. I want to offer hope in Christ. That's the filter every song on the album had to pass through. I want the album to have a message of hope with songs that real people going through life's everyday problems can relate to."
For more information on Victoria Griffith and Wellspring In the Wilderness, visit victoriagriffithmusic.com.
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