Couple donates carillon system to FBC Vincent

Couple donates carillon system to FBC Vincent

By Grace Thornton
The Alabama Baptist

In the little Tennessee town where Karen Joines and his wife, Ann, lived for decades they enjoyed hearing the nearby Methodist church’s carillon ring out hymns every day.

“We just always loved that,” he said.

So they decided they wanted to give that kind of gift to their church, something that would “be a beacon to the community in terms of the Christian faith and also inviting others to come,” Joines said.

And on Dec. 9, First Baptist Church, Vincent, dedicated the couple’s gift — a carillon system that can play more than 2,000 preprogrammed songs.

Fills the streets

Played from a computer through speakers rather than with actual bells, it fills the streets of Vincent with the sounds of hymns.

“We live a distance away and we can hear it from our front porch,” said Joines, who served as interim pastor for First, Vincent, in the early 1970s while teaching at Samford University in Birmingham. “It’s loud and clear and a testimony to our community.”

The carillon’s sound carries about a mile, and it plays the first verse of two hymns every morning at 9 and at 12, 3 and 6 in the afternoon. The schedule changes on Sundays for worship, with the carillon ringing out five minutes before the worship service starts.

They also have special music for holidays and for events like weddings and funerals.

Judy Aycock Henderson, media director for First, Vincent, said the church has already gotten phone calls from people in town saying they’re thankful for the sound of church bells.

“It’s a gift for the whole town, to bless people,” she said. “It can be such a lift when you’re going somewhere and suddenly hear ‘Amazing Grace’ and think, ‘God is here, He hasn’t left me.’ We are ecstatic to have it.” (Grace Thornton)