The outpouring of community support at a musical benefit show visibly touched Pastor Tim Bigelow and his wife, Pastor Christina Bigelow. – Kirk Starratt, www.kingscountynews.ca
By Kirk Starratt
From the groundswell of support demonstrated at a benefit show in Waterville, it’s clear a local pastor battling cancer has touched the lives of many.
The community rallied behind Pastor Tim Bigelow and his wife, Pastor Christina Bigelow, in the form of a musical benefit show at the Waterville and District Fire Hall March 9. The parking lot was full and vehicles lined both sides of County Home Road as people poured into the hall, filling all 300 seats. Many more people stood as the crowd swelled to more than 350.
The couple was visibly moved by the show of support and Bigelow said it was really overwhelming. You never know in life where the road is going to take you, but “it’s nice to know you don’t have to walk it alone,” he said.
“Having people behind you makes all the difference,” he added.
He was familiar with most of the entertainers and said the music was fantastic. However, Tim wasn’t expecting to hear a song he had written 33 years ago, called “Nobody Cared,” sung by Ann-Marie Meister, who used to baby sit for the Bigelow’s. He said he was surprised someone else remembered.
“I almost fell off the chair when she played that,” he said.
Meister said the outpouring of support for Tim and Christina was a reflection of how giving they have been and how much they mean to the community.
Tim is pastor at both the Woodville Baptist Church and Burlington Baptist Church and is also Waterville and District Fire Department chaplain. Christina is pastor at Waterville Baptist Church. Members of the three congregations, the fire department community and the general community made up the capacity gathering.
Lifelong Waterville resident Stuart Johnstone said he’s never seen anything like it at the hall.
“It’s the biggest crowd I’ve ever seen in here, that’s for sure,” he said.
Organizing committee member Donna Johnstone said the church communities, the firefighters and the general community all consider the Bigelow’s family.
“People were here before we had the door open,” she said. “We’re overwhelmed by it all.”
They had no problem finding a full line-up of musical entertainment for the benefit, she added. People wanted to participate, which demonstrates the impact Tim and Christina have had on the community, she said.
“If it was for anybody else, they’d be the first ones here,” she said.
In addition to Meister, Old Country, Wayne Boudreau, Sonlight, Hughie McDonnell, the North Alton Baptist Church Praise Team and Matt and Graham also took to the stage. George Moody was emcee for the occasion.
Performer Matthew Lunn said he would drive all the way to Yarmouth to perform for five minutes to help a child out. Performing at benefit shows is something he’s done regularly for quite a while.
Lunn said he and Graham Moorehead have also taken part in hymn sings at Tim’s church. He called the turnout in support of Tim fantastic.
“Tim’s a great guy,” Lunn said. “He’s touched a lot of people.”
Moorehead said he and Lunn have performed regularly at benefits as Matt and Graham or as part of country rock band Split Decision for seven years because they like being able to use their music to help others.
Moorehead appreciates the importance of this type of show and has benefitted himself from them - the community held a benefit for him after he suffered a couple of heart attacks and had to undergo a triple bypass.
Kings County Coun. Brian Hirtle said he has worked closely with Tim on issues in the community. He said it wasn’t surprising to see such a strong turnout, considering that the Bigelow’s have touched so many lives.
“It warms your heart to see it,” Hirtle said. “It’s only right to return the same sort of gesture.”
See a slideshow of photos from the benefit HERE