IT. WAS. AWESOME.
I and my friend Ian watched the Gatlin Brothers, Mo Pitney, Diamond Rio, Charlie Daniels & more... but that wasn't the most amazing part.
Realizing that this theater was host to the greatest of the greats- Elvis, Patsy, Waylon, Cash & virtually every significant country music icon of the 20th Century and that they all stood on the stage that I was just feet from, was not the most amazing part.
Learning about the history of the Ryman theater was incredible. It was built by Captain Tom Ryman in the late 1890's as a result of hearing the message of Rev. Sam Jones. Ryman was a powerful and respected businessman in Nashville who had made his money with a fleet of riverboats, hauling freight and people to and fro. But it was the bars on his boats that created the social fallout that Jones decried.
As legend states, Ryman went to listen to Jones and was overcome by the message. Ryman gave his life to the Lord and vowed to clean up his act. He also vowed to build Jones a church building to host the tens of thousands of congregants. Over a few years, the Union Tabernacle was built and when Ryman passed away, Jones, who presided over the funeral, called to rename the Tabernacle the Ryman Auditorium to the total agreement of the audience. They Ryman auditorium was host to many great messages and musical acts given by men and women of God, for the glory and praise of God, but that history was not the most amazing part.
As the evening's concert went on, the musicians all let us know in turn that there would be a prayer vigil for Joey Feek, a country music star, young mother and wife to country music singer Rory Feek. She was losing her battle with ovarian cancer. So the concert concluded and Charlie Daniels invited us to stay. Ian and I went closer to the stage and were overwhelmed by the spirit of the Lord in this holy place and the prayers and songs lifted to God on behalf of the Feeks. I was floored. I was awed and inspired. I was humbled and blessed by these amazingly talented people interceding for others.
THAT WAS THE MOST AMAZING PART.