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Save the Chapel! A Musical Extravaganza set Sept. 17

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Talented musicians and dancers from across Middle Tennessee will be in the spotlight Saturday, Sept. 17 in a free-admission show that hopes to raise money for a good cause.

Save the Chapel! A Musical Extravaganza will feature all types of music, said Mary Harris, event organizer and president of the Wilson County Black History Committee, which is sponsoring the event.

Donations will be accepted at the show to go toward the restoration of Historic Pickett Chapel, the oldest brick building in Lebanon, which is being restored by its owner, the Wilson County Black History Committee.

The historic building that housed Pickett Chapel, at 209 East Market Street, has stood empty for years, but it has a long history: Pickett Chapel Methodist Church, established in 1866, was the first church for Blacks in the city.

Pickett Chapel was built in 1827, and throughout the years became a major factor in the formation of the community. The church remained active until 1973, when members moved to a new building and formed Pickett Rucker United Methodist Church. For several years, until 2001, the historic building on East Market Street was home to the Pickett Players, a local theater company.

The Wilson County Black History Committee purchased the building in 2007. After renovation, it will become the committees headquarters and the site of the Roy Bailey African American History Center, and a resource for the entire community.

We need to raise money, but we also need to raise awareness of the chapel and our mission to restore it, Harris said. For the Musical Extravaganza, we have a commitment from talented musicians who share our vision. It will be a great show.

Expect to enjoy country, choral, and praise music and dancers, soloists, local church choirs and more during this evening of music. The event will begin at 5 p.m. at Pickett-Rucker United Methodist Churchs Hope Center, 633 Glover Street, in Lebanon.

For information, call the Roy Bailey African American History Museum at 449-2911. You may also call 512-7921 or 739-2283.

To learn more about The Wilson County Black History Committee and Historic Pickett Chapel, visit

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