Knoxville church cheers loudest for 'Voice' winner

Knoxville church cheers loudest for 'Voice' winner

Fans gathered at Cokesbury United Methodist Church for five nights to watch Chris Blue's performances together.

Cokesbury United Methodist Church threw "watch parties" and shared radical hospitality with fans of their worship singer, Chris Blue.


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (May 24, 2017) -- When Chris Blue finally took first place last night in the 12th season of NBC's "The Voice" competition, hundreds of church members and fans were waiting to scream and cheer him through his victory lap.

Moments after the win, videos of Cokesbury's wildly celebrating crowd -- as well as Blue's emotional reaction -- circulated on social media. 

Cokesbury United Methodist Church -- reportedly the seventh largest in its denomination with about 4,200 in average worship attendance -- began the competitive journey with the 26-year-old singer last winter, said Executive Pastor Anna Lee.

"We prayed for Chris as a congregation and wished him well as he headed to Los Angeles for the live shows of 'The Voice,'" she said. "Chris has been leading worship with us for five years."

Cokesbury began hosting "watch parties" to support the singer on May 1. Each Monday night during May, "we had food trucks out front for folks to come early, fellowship, and have dinner," Lee said. "We then watched the show together in our worship space." Cokesbury's fifth and final party ended happily with Blue's victory on May 23.


See complete story on Storify ...