Baylor Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir Presents Gospel Fest

Feb. 12, 2009

by Lauren Venegas, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

The Baylor University Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir will celebrate the 2009 Gospel Fest with "The Return of Joy: A Soldier's Welcome Home" at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, in Waco Hall on the Baylor campus.

The event, presented in conjunction with the Department of Multicultural Activities, will feature Minister Micah Stampley as the musical clinician.

"Minister Stampley has not only won several awards for his musical endeavors, he has traveled throughout the world ministering through song," said Ronald English, the adviser for the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir since its founding in 1988 and a pastor at Greater Bosqueville Baptist Church. "It is always an honor serving with someone who has successfully served so many others." English also serves as academic support adviser for referrals at Baylor.

The entertaining evening Gospel Fest promises will feature six choirs from other Texas colleges, each performing two selections, followed by a mass effort with Minister Stampley. In addition to the entertainment factor, English said that it will be an hour where those can come to know Jesus and those who know Him can know Him even better.

"While I believe that Gospel Fest is an entertaining event, we never want to forget the ministry aspect of what we do as a choir serving the Baylor, Waco and state-wide community," English said.

Gospel Fest falls on Valentine's Day this year, but English said that in the end, the choirs' desire to present Christ through song and pray that the presentation of Christ can lead to life-changing relationships, regardless if those in attendance are single, dating or attending the event to enjoy time with friends.

Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir was started through a student's determination to be an instrument of God through singing praises. On Oct. 18, 1988, the choir held its first rehearsal with 15 students who wanted to use their talents to glorify God. The choir has grown over the past 14 years and is a living testimony to the power of God. English said that the first Gospel Fest was held in spring 1991 and in the first few years, the group traveled to other colleges and participated in their events.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the Baylor ticket office in the Bill Daniel Student Center, Marilyn's Gift Gallery at 818 Elm Street or from officers of the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir. Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $15.

"I hope for Gospel Fest what I hope for the weekly worship services I lead: a deeper and closer relationship with Jesus Christ for all in attendance," said English. "More than I want people to be entertained; more than I want people to have a worship experience; I want people to grow closer to Jesus Christ. I want people to treat each other better even when they don't feel like it. I want the people in attendance to feel a love that I can't explain, a peace that surpasses understanding, and a security that can't be bought."

For more information, contact Ronald English at (254) 710-8986 or Kelley Kimple, coordinator for multicultural affairs, at (254) 710-6949.

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