People fill the pews during a community church service at the historic James Creek Missionary Baptist Church, which featured speeches, preaching and songs.

ABERDEEN – As part of an annual Christmastime event, the historic James Creek Missionary Baptist Church hosted gospel, praise and unity Dec. 19 for a community church service. The service was led by Ben and Patricia Howell.

Dwight Stevens, who owns the church, recognized Neil Palmer for hanging 16,500 Christmas lights alongside sections of Meridian Street and at The Magnolias to add to the festiveness of the season this year.

“It’s refreshing to have a town so pretty. We have so many visitors come in from out of town and say, ‘Gosh, I wish our town was this pretty.’ We take it for granted so many times. I love this little town and I hope you love it,” said Aberdeen Main Street Director Ann Tackett, who was among those who spoke. “Let’s support our little town and grow it.”

Palmer later added the community church service and recent Christmas gala at The Magnolias brought everyone together and embodied the spirit of Aberdeen.

Members of the Brown Family, Pastor Jimmy Pounds and Janet Parks and the Smith Chapel Voices and Company were among musical performers.

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