Sunday, August 25, 2002

Music minister's fame arrives in 'Alabaster Box'

        The room grew still as she made her way to Jesus. She stumbled through the tears that made her blind. She felt such pain. ... “There is no place here for her kind...” she heard.

        The harlot knelt before Jesus' feet ... she poured her love for the Master from her box of Alabaster

        Those words are from the first verse of “Alabaster Box,” a gospel song recorded by CeCe Winians that made the top 10 list in 2000.

        It has brought fame to Tony Cornelius, minister of music at the Growing Place Church in Norwood.

        Mr. Cornelius won first place in the gospel music category when he sang the song at the Millie Lewis National American Modeling and Talent Convention in Orlando, Fla.

        “The song is about the harlot who was told by Christ's disciples that she could not meet him, but Christ accepted her. She washed his feet with her tears and dried them with her hair and then gave him perfumes and oil from her Alabaster box,” Mr. Cornelius said. “It is a very touching song, and it was a big accomplishment for me to sang it and win first place because I was among 1,300 competitors.”

        The nationwide competition was held June 24-July 1. The convention is a talent search organization that meets twice a year.

        Mr. Cornelius also won first place in a television commercial and honorable mention in pop music.

        “The television commercial was about the Weakest Link Home Game which we had to do in a production studio,” Mr. Cornelius said. “There were producers, agents, scouts and casting directors from around the world, judging on how you looked before the camera, your poise and your demeanor.”

        As a results of his recognition in the national competition, he is reviewing for a role in the play Incurable being produced by playwright James Pentaudi.

        Mr. Cornelius, 29 of Union Township, has been the minister of music at the Growing Place Church for seven years.

        He is a native Cincinnatian and graduated from the University of Akron with a degree in music education in vocal and instrument.

        The International Society of Arboriculture is asking communities around the country to plant a tree on Sept. 11 as a way of memoralizing and remembering victims of the terrorist attack.

        Tim Back, a certified arborist and president of Back Tree Service in Forest Park, has offered to donate free hardwood mulch to tristate communities.

        Monday, he may be contacted at

        Allen Howard's “Some Good News” column runs Sunday-Friday. If you have suggestions about outstanding achievements, or people who are uplifting to the Tristate, let him know at 768-8362, at or by fax at 768-8340.


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