The event was meant to raise awareness that there are many different cultures among the people of Fort Scott. The program included carols in Spanish, German, French, Kikuyu (from Kenya), Persian and English. The reason for the gathering, according to the program, was to worship "The Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace."
First Presbyterian Pastor Mansour Khajehpour led the service.
And what better time to come together than Christmas when everyone has something in common to celebrate, Martin said.
"It was a very nice, festive first approach at this. I think we need to continue to push that. I know Mansour will," he added.
Martin and his wife, Jara Eshelbrenner Martin, were married at First Presbyterian. They attend Community Christian Church. "It's a beautiful church. I'm glad to see Mansour reaching out to the community in so many different ways," he said.
Participants were encouraged to join in singing of traditional carols, such as "Joy to the World" and "Silent Night," and popular tunes such as "Feliz Navidad." The program included words to the carols, plus information on each country represented and a challenge for prayer.
Performers included Harold Hicks, who sang in French; the Brown family, including Amanda Johnson and her nieces and nephews Gunnar Brown, Bailie Brown and Allie Brown; the Muhota family; the Khajehpour family; and the Santanos family. Greg Turner was the music director and played the organ; Beth Nuss played the piano; and Ralph Carlson played the guitar.
"It was so cool," Joy Muhota said. "We felt so much appreciation from the community."
The service was followed by a candlelight service on Crawford Street with more singing and refreshments.
Mansour said he plans several improvements for next year based on suggestions and comments from those who attended.
He also expressed thanks to the city of Fort Scott, its city commissioners and the local media for publicizing the event. "I want to thank the city of Fort Scott and our city commissioners for approving and enabling us to block Crawford Street, making that street safe for the worshippers to enjoy the aftermath when we gathered on the street," he said.