The scene was the Sam’s Club in Dothan, Alabama. A Friday. Business as usual. Shopping as usual.
“Sometimes you need a little church. Even if it’s in Sam’s Club,” Conner would later post on Facebook, along with a video that captured the magic moments from Nov. 10 when a few people testing out a keyboard transformed the lives of everyone in the store that day, and all who have seen the video since.
The group testing the keyboard included Slade Alday and his wife, Danielle, who were visiting Dothan and happened to head to the store.
“It was impromptu,” said Alday, a member of the Georgia group Sons of Jubal, a Baptist chorus.
“The Holy Spirit just showed up in a mighty way. In this time when people can’t get along for various reasons we were all together,” he said. “We were just singing praises to God.”
Conner’s video showed Alday singing as Joy Buczek, a member of the group, played “Our God is Awesome” on a keyboard.
“When we were walking around we turned the corner and there were these keyboards,” Alday said.
“Like any curious musician, Joy wanted to mess around on them and started playing some songs,” he said.
They started having some private time, forgetting they were in public.
“We started singing in our little group and began having a worship time. Our eyes were closed, so we didn’t really know how many people had joined in before I looked around.”
Alday said that the group had been singing about 10 minutes when they started to draw a crowd.
“I heard people saying ‘Amen.’ So, I turned around and they had their hands raised; some were crying,” he said. “It was a beautiful moment.”
Alday then broadcast it all via Facebook Live as more people joined in.
“It was a very spiritual moment,” Conner said. “I was very blessed by it, and if you listen to the video, you’ll hear a bit of laughter. At first, I thought, ‘Who’s laughing?’ But then I realized it was joyous laughter.”
Conner said a woman in the crowd had tears in her eyes, and a man behind kept repeating, “Go God.”
“A Sam’s Club employee named Christian Melton joined in,” Alday said. “My, what a voice. She sounded like Whitney Houston. The whole thing ended up being shared on Facebook and trending on Twitter.”
The experience reminded Alday of John 12:32.
“Jesus said, ‘If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me,’” he stated. “In that little bit of time the gospel was proclaimed around the world. People responded. It was mind-blowing.”
Conner said that the video gave people hope in a time of troubles.
“It’s hit people in a dark spot and added some light,” she said.
“They’re saying something similar to what I experienced in person that night,” she said. “I was having a bad day, and this just really blessed me and turned my day around, or I was in a bad spot, and this reminded me that God is good, and He is awesome or bigger than my problem.”