Franklin Church doesn't use the traditional fanfare of a Fourth of July celebration. Instead, it forgoes the fireworks, sparklers and parades in favor of something a bit more somber.

Franklin Church doesn't use the traditional fanfare of a Fourth of July celebration. Instead, it forgoes the fireworks, sparklers and parades in favor of something a bit more somber.

Franklin's fourth annual Faith and Freedom Sunday, slated to begin at 10:15 a.m. July 6, will offer a celebration while honoring two local men who have served the country and community.

"It's about freedom and the freedom to worship and the freedom to do what we want in our country," said the Rev. Mike Brown, pastor. "We need to recognize people who paid the price."

The church once celebrated Independence Day through a traditional service with patriotic tunes, but Brown said he wanted to go beyond that.

"I wanted to do something other than the routine Fourth of July patriotic songs ... and going on with the regular Sunday that barely scrapes the surface of what the Fourth of July is all about," he said. "This country started with people trying to find religious freedom. If any place ought to celebrate religious freedom, it should be us."

In previous years, the celebration has honored central Ohio's Lima Company and local Marine Rob Jones, who has served in Iraq four times. This year, the celebration will honor two men who served both country and community.

"This year we thought it was a good idea to take a New Albany twist by honoring the family of Shawn English," Brown said. "I'm trying real hard to see if we can get his wife and children here. So we have Shawn defending his country, and we'll honor Mary Cameron for Don (Cameron). Don really served his community."

Capt. Shawn English died in Iraq in 2006. Cameron, a Plain Township trustee who helped on such issues as the arts center and Metro Parks development, died in January.

"These are people who have given," Brown said.

Brown said he hopes local veterans will attend the service so the church could honor them during the celebration.

"We're going to honor the veterans who come out and one of our own natives who died in war and a man who served the community," Brown said. "We're going to recognize them and celebrate our God-given freedoms."

Local politicians also have been invited and will be given a brief time to talk about freedom, Brown said.

"We look forward to anyone who wants to spend some time celebrating our freedom and believe that we live in the best country in the world," he said.

Brown said he has traveled to the Philippines several times over the past 10 years. During a recent trip, he said, he realized how much Americans take for granted.

"The more I travel to other countries, the more I realize how much we have, even taking a shower," he said. "In the Philippines, it's just pouring cold water over yourself. So let's get together and thank God for even a hot shower and just the fact that things are so great here."

The Faith and Freedom Sunday celebration will begin at 10:15 a.m. at New Albany Franklin Church, 7171 Central College Road.

Brown said an "all-American" lunch of hotdogs, chips and apple pie will follow.

jnoblit@thisweeknews.com