June 26--Between two jobs -- one for the Navy and the other as minister of music at Seagrove Baptist Church in Florida -- John Stitt doesn't have a lot of time for performing.
But this Sunday, the Burlington native will return to his hometown as guest soloist for the Summer Music Concert at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, 400 S. Broad St., Burlington.
Joel Marshall is minister of music and worship at First Baptist Church, and Stitt said "I have so much respect for Joel and his ministry. He is a good person to pattern a ministry after; he's so organized."
"I'm looking forward to a good concert/worship service," he added.
Stitt is a former pastor of worship and music at St. Mark's Church in Burlington and left that position to pursue his own musical ministry. Prior to that, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill along with receiving a master's degree in computer science from Stanford University. He was a computer programmer for Bell Communications Research in New Jersey and has lived and worked in Panama City, Fla., for the last 10 years.
He recorded three CDs in the 1990s -- "Let Us Sing Our Praise," "The Body of Christ" and "What Child Is This?" Although his two jobs keep him plenty busy, Stitt does guest performances at churches in Florida as well as in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for a Christian camp. But he said he's delighted to return home for this show. His parents, Jack and Linda Stitt, still live here.
Stitt said he grew up singing with his sister around the house and went on to sing his first solo while in the first grade. At 12 years old, he picked up the guitar and began to play. It wasn't until middle school that the nerves really set in and there are still moments that he'll look out in the crowd and get a little nervous.
"I think I'm still a little that way," he said.
Coming home to Burlington to perform for "people I've known my whole life is a wonderful feeling."
Admission is free and will be followed by dessert. Visit firstbaptistburlington.com for more details.
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