Heavenly Voices Featured at Cen-Tex African American Chamber Banquet Oct. 15

Oct. 7, 2009
News Photo 4788Harry C. Alford

Event Will Honor First Black Graduate of Baylor, Robert Gilbert

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Baylor University's Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir will be the featured entertainment at the Cen-Tex African-American Chamber of Commerce's Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15 in the Blume Conference Center on the fifth floor of the Cashion Building on the Baylor campus.

Heavenly Voices was started by Tonja Frazier Carpenter, a Baylor student determined to use her singing talent to praise God, in October 1998. Originally comprised of 15 students, the gospel choir has since grown to the current size of 55 students. Each year Heavenly Voices performs at numerous community events with the mission of spreading the Gospel through music.

"As a choir, we want to support and give back to local community organizations that support us," said Ronald English, the adviser for the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir. Performing for the African American Chamber is a way to do that, he said

This will be the second year the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce will honor an African-American trailblazer. This year's honoree is the late Robert Gilbert, the first African-American graduate of Baylor. After graduating with a Bachelor of Art degree from Baylor in 1967, Gilbert went on to attend the Baylor Graduate School of Religion from 1970 to 1971.

Gilbert was the first black teacher assigned to a formerly all-white school in Waco Independent School District. He was a well-known civil rights leader in central Texas and was the pastor of several churches before he died in 1992.

Keynote speaker will be Harry C. Alford, president and CEO of the National Black Chamber of Commerce. Tickets to the meeting are $30 per person or $225 per table. More information is available on the Cen-Tex Chamber web site or by calling 235-3204.

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