On Saturday night, February 6th, 2010, the Lafayette United Methodist Church held Joy Jam 2, a musical celebration honoring the lives of Pastor Michel Welch, his wife, Julie, and their two children, Hannah and Jesse, who were tragically killed in a car accident two days after a powerful tornado ravaged our community on February 5th, 2008, changing the face of Macon County forever.

As the old rugged cross hung quietly behind the pulpit, it served as a reminder of the spirit of the Lord, that echoed across the chapel, showering the congregation with the knowledge that God, in his infinite wisdom, watches over his beloved children. Whether we are celebrating a new life or remembering those gone too soon, God guides us through the ups and downs of everyday life, as we realize that His mercy is a well that never runs dry.

After Mark Darnell welcomed everyone to the 2nd anniversary of the natural disaster that swept through Middle Tennessee taking lives and destroying homes, the Bell Choir opened the night with a beautiful song and were followed by several others including: Randy Dillehay, Jeanette Moore, Kinship, Randy East, Kim Marsh, Rorie Jones, the Church Choir, Steve Naylor, Brenda Oakes, Katherine Dillehay, Mary Mueller, Coree Entwhistle, Tito Hernandez, and the Middle Tennessee Children’s Choir.

Bro. Nolen Brunson, who had the difficult job of following in the footsteps of the Welch family and comforting a still grieving congregation, has certainly brought the church together, breathing life back into the members and putting a smile on their face. The Welch family was a source of inspiration and strength to our small community and even though their lives were cut short, everything does happen for a reason and life goes on.

“Macon County has come through so much since that tragic night a couple of years ago,” Pastor Brunson said on Saturday night, “but with the Joy Jam the Lord has given us our joy back and brought gladness into our hearts. God is our song and the music that helps us sing, and I dearly thank Him for leading me to Macon County.”