Cleveland, OH - Valentine's Day is near, and love is in the air. Valentine's day started as a church holiday on February 14th to honor martyrs of the faith - saints named Valentine or Valentinus. According to Bible study tools, the first valentine note was sent by Valentine, who was in prison for a girl he loved. Since its inception, Valentine's Day has not changed. It has remained a special day to love on those who are dear to their hearts. As people embark upon this day, some will rejoice and fellowship with those they love, while others may smile in appreciation for peace. Notwithstanding the purpose of Valentine's Day, others will enjoy the sweet smell of a box of chocolates, a card, and maybe a romantic dinner while listening to jazz, rhythm and blues, and feet-stumping gospel music.
Whatever people choose to do, there is something about music. It doesn't matter where one may search; everyone is seeking love, even if it is through melodic harmony. Pastor Andrew Butts and the Northeast Ohio Mass Choir delivered songs through faith, hope, and love in the early 2000s. Pastor Butts reminded the region that all people could come together to create a sense of belonging, fellowship, and love through music.
Unlike Saint Valentine, who sent a love note to one young lady, Pastor Butts sent a gift of love and admiration to the community-seeking members to join a community-wide choir. He founded the Northeast Ohio Mass Choir. "I saw a need to bring people together. There is no room for racism, sexism, or classism. A few months ago, I was at an event, and a man said to me, "you don't know how much you have touched me." You never know how much you are appreciated until someone tells you," says Pastor Butts.
Valentine's day is about faith, hope, and love, and Pastor Butts and the Northeast Ohio Mass Choir are the replicas of Valentine's day. They exemplify the love people hold dear to their hearts. For some may echo, this is due to good old-fashioned foot-stomping music.
Happy Valentines Day!