Eastside Gospel Music and Volunteer Mass Choir brought it home

Members of the New Hope Baptist Church Dance Ministry. (Photo by Deborah A. Culp)

Members of the New Hope Baptist Church Dance Ministry. (Photo by Deborah A. Culp)

The Nashville Dove Awards was much more than a kick off, pre-mega event concert last Sunday night. Those on program brought it home! Or as the saying goes: ‘They all showed up and showed out.’ Facilitator Jeffery Wilford humbly made few remarks and opened with this partial gratitude announcement, saying: “Welcome to the Nashville Dove Awards 2016 concert and showcase. Thank you on behalf of the Eastside Gospel Music store.

Special thanks to Kayne Ave Baptist Church and Damon King, comedian Stephon Smith; New Hope Dance Ministry; Volunteer State Mass Choir; Karlos Nichols Charles; Dr. Mark A. Williams; B.J. McKenzie; Pamela R. Crawford; Denotra Sneed; Loverne Godservant Forman; and Benita Bellamy. We are looking forward to next year.”

The kick off concert served as the official pre-GMA DOVE Awards 2016 premier concert. The awesome evening opened with the New Hope Baptist Church Dance Ministry (led by Min. James C. Turner II). The dancers varied in ages, and their captivating performance brought the audience to their feet, clapping madly.

Kayne’s top Min. Harmon Stockdale rendered a hearty welcome. Evangelist Caren Ellison led praise and worship. Co-Master of Ceremony Damon King and comedian Stephon Smith kept the agenda on track and infused the audience with clean comedy, playful banter and God’s word.

The music ministry included: the Volunteer State Mass Choir; B.J. McKenzie; Pam Crawford; Charles Walker; Dr. Mark Williams (the ‘voice doctor’); Lady Denotra Sneed; Karlos Nichols; and the Music City Chapter GMWA (Gospel Music Workshop of America).

There was almost as much talent in the audience as it was on program, with the noted female gospel group Free Spirit stopping by. Others included: ‘Mr. Amen Goes Right There,’ a.k.a., (Sir) Everette Drake; and the ‘Red DIVA’ Keesha Rainey.

It was indeed a photo-op Mecca and festival of praise. Jeffery Wilford and company out did themselves as always, running the event successfully with all done on time—something not to be taken lightly, as most events tend to run over. They’re too long and even drawn out. But this event was executed with perfect timing. Wilford asked that the Volunteer State Mass Choir music ministry be supported, and then graciously thanked everyone. Min. Stockdale delivered the benediction.

For more information, visit <www.facebook.com/volunteerstatemasschoir>.