Celebrating America the Beautiful

July 2, 2006 -- 5:00 PM CDT

JONESBORO, AR -- Members of the First United Methodist Church held a special service to celebrate Independence Day.

Cindy Woodard has been a member of the church for several years, and said that the service was amazing.

"It was very uplifting," she said.  "It was very patriotic and the church was packed.  There was standing room only."

The church pews were full as the congregation worshiped and paid tribute to veterans.

Pastor John Miles started his sermon with what he called "America's purpose statement," the first sentence of the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence.

"It says, 'we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certin unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,'" said Pastor Miles.

Members got a taste of history and Christianity all in one.

"Combining all of that into Independence Day for the Fourth of July celebration in the church...it was just awesome the way that he did it," said Woodard.

She said it was great to hear Pastor Miles dissect the Declaration of Independence.

"The thing that is so awesome about being in this country is that we have the rights to our individual freedoms," said Woodard.

She enjoyed the special church service to celebrate America the beautiful.