Friday's and Saturday's Easter concerts at First Baptist Church will have a new twist this year.
The choir's performance will be dedicated to Dale Dedic, who died while scuba diving in Tuolumne County. Dedic, 34, was killed on April 9 in the water-filled Harvard Mine Pit, a former gold mine, near Jamestown.
Dedic, who lived in Lodi, began attending First Baptist Church, and he accepted Jesus Christ as his lord and savior just two weeks before he died, said Malee Raphael, who along with her husband, Josh, will be a soloist at the concert.
And just a week before Dedic's death, Raphael said she had a conversation with him about the possibility that he may die someday while scuba diving.
"His response to me was, 'It's OK. I know where I am going. I'm ready,'" Raphael said.
Ironically, the concert at First Baptist had already planned a theme of "Why? — Hard Questions," covering such questions of why God allows good people to die, Pastor Steve Newman said.
The concert will include videotaped comments by members of the congregation asking questions like, "Why did my child have to die?" Newman said.
The performance will include a 70-voice choir and a 30-piece professional orchestra, mostly from the Stockton Symphony and University of the Pacific's music conservatory.
Performances will be held at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday at First Baptist Church, 267 N. Mills Ave., Lodi. For more information, call 334-1332.
Contact reporter Ross Farrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.