St. Paul Lutheran Church located on West Edgewood Avenue held an inspiring jazz vesper concert with The Mark McKnight Ensemble headlining an evening of jazzy musical tunes. The history of Jazz Vespers dates to the mid-20th century when many churches began to incorporate jazz music into their services as a way of engaging with new and diverse audiences.
This year’s vesper incorporated the church officers, staff and congregants to raise funds for an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), which is used to help those experiencing sudden cardiac arrest. The AED device is warranted to have in the church in case of members-guests needs due to heart problems. The device can assist with delivering an electrical shock, or defibrillation, to help the heart re-establish an effective rhythm. Many of the church elderly parishioners have medical conditions that require the machine onsite to ensure when the spirit hits, the machine is nearby to assist with overzealous and passionate excitement for church worship and praise. The concert featured Mark McKnight on drums, Joe Watts on piano and Melvin Smith on tenor saxophone. Dr. Mark McKnight has played Vespers Services in Illinois, Florida, Georgia, South and North Carolina. He began playing Vespers in the mid 1990s at Jacksonville University. All donations will be used to purchase the equipment and for training.