Gospel Fest shines on a rainy afternoon

Gospel Fest shines on a rainy afternoon
October 17
01:00 2019

The rain attempted to dampen the mood for day two of Gospel Fest at the Dixie Classic Fair, but it was unsuccessful. While the crowd did not come out in full force, it did not stop the lineup from putting on a great show for those who braved the inclement weather.

There was a full slate of acts on day two, with eight performances in total. JMS Singers, Mike Teezy, Kingdom Sound, Forever A Dancer, Bishop Grosjean Stephens, Minister Michael Whisonant & Focus, Sir Jerry Sadler & Sounds of Pentecost and Bishop George Pass II & NEW all graced the stage with their presence Sunday afternoon, Oct. 13.

Gospel hip-hop artist Mike Teezy returned to Gospel Fest after tearing up the stage last year. During his performance, he shared some of his testimony that led the young man to this point in his life.

“My whole ministry is inspired by God and I’ve been through a lot of things,” said Teezy. “I’ve been depressed before, I’ve been suicidal, and it took everything to come away from everything I was going through, but I had to push forward. God gave me so much joy in the moment that I just surrendered everything to him and that’s where my inspiration comes from, just bringing joy to other people that might be going through the same things I went through.”

Teezy said there is a message behind every song that he writes, or that “God writes through him.” He feels gospel hip-hop is a great way to integrate the younger generation into the church.

“If you want to see the next generation coming up to be saved and you want to see them set free and delivered, you have to give them an outlet and opportunity to hear it for themselves,” he said. “We all express ourselves in different ways and God is the one that gives us those gifts, so if God is in it, you want to be supportive of it.”

The singing group Kingdom Sound initially looked like a traditional contemporary group, but they surprised everyone with their up-tempo sound that had the crowd rocking in the rain.

“We are Kingdom Sound, but one of our songs is undefeated and nothing can defeat us when it comes to God,” said Carol Robertson of Kingdom Sound. “Even the rain, He created it, but to God be the glory, what a wonderful time to praise him.

“Gospel is influenced by so many genres, so it’s easy for us to come together and whether it be slow or fast, but one thing we do is love to make sure we praise and worship God, that’s first and foremost and we just put music to that.”

Rhonda and John Smith of Forever a Dancer were happy with their performance during the rain-soaked event.

“You need God’s strength in order to do anything,” Rhonda Smith said about what inspired their performance. “In any way that you are moving, you are going to need the strength of the Lord and it took a whole lot of strength to stand out here, especially since I forgot a jacket. The joy of the Lord is our strength and we wanted to show that through movement and expression today.”

Rhonda Smith says there are many ways to show your love for God. She stated even if you can’t speak, your movement says a lot to God as well.
“If you can’t find the right words to say, you can do it with movement or dance,” John Smith added. “A lot of people sing, but dance is a great way of expression as well.”

Gospel Fest veteran Bishop Grosjean Stephens brought along his group of singers. His powerful voice resonated throughout the fair, bringing passersby to a complete stop to see who was belting those powerful vocals.

“It was good to be out here, because the fair is always good and Gospel Fest is always good, so we were just happy to be out here,” said Stephens. “I just wanted the people to know that God has not forgotten about you and that you can’t mess it up. No matter what you do, God is still in your corner.”

One of the things Stephens enjoys most about Gospel Fest is being around the singers, due to him having a long-time friendship with many of the performers. He said, “When we all come together, it’s like a big party and we are all cheering each other on, so it’s good to be back with my fellow singers and musicians.”

Day two of Gospel Fest did not bring out the crowd that was anticipated, but the spirit was definitely in the air with those great performances this past Sunday. 

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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