hymnal photo

The larger hymnals for the visually impaired at Southside Community Church.

Alice Barlar is singing these days using bigger words ... literally.

Visually impaired, Barlar’s “excellent” singing voice was all but muted at church — Southside Community Church of Eufaula — as she had trouble reading the printed words in the hymnals.

Pastor Judy Britt decided to find a way Barlar’s voice could heard again.

Britt enlarged the words to the hymns, then sought a place to have the pages bound.

“We went out and talk to a guy at Sparks (College) and they tried to rig something up,” Britt said.

The search led to Britt’s granddaughter looking online, where she found a company in Madison, Wisconsin that could handle the size, 17x11 inches.

However, she received a call shortly after the pages arrived in Wisconsin and was informed that the bindery machine was not quite large enough to handle the project. Nevertheless, the company placed the pages together by hand and glued them together in the large bound books.

Southside Community Church, located at 705 W. Boundary St. in Eufaula, is small with only about 17 total members, and only from 12-15 showing up at each service. The members agreed to pay the $260 for the two books — Standard Church Hymnal and The Best of New Songs of Inspiration. Britt said that amount was for everything, including shipping.

“This was all about one woman, Alice Barlar,” Britt said. “Then, we had another one show up this week that needed to use one of the books.”

Britt was the first ever chaplain for the Barbour County Sheriff’s Office.

“All we do there is southern gospel,” Britt said. “The books are a service to the Lord. If we ever get more visually impaired at church, we will go back to them.

“Alice nearly cried when she heard about them. She has an excellent singing voice. She said ‘I can give praise to the Lord again.’”

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