Gospel music uplifting at Juneteenth celebration in East Lubbock Sunday evening

Gospel music took center stage Sunday evening as approximately 500 people came together at Mae Simmons Park to hear various artists perform for the Juneteenth gospel concert celebration.

 

Artists performing included Chaka Sheppard, Out of Control, Kings of Kings, national recording artist Christina and more.

Josh MacDonald, worship pastor with Trinity Church, said he was proud to represent the church, as well as be a part of the celebration. He said it’s exciting to be a part of the community.

“The theme of the event is building cultural bridges,” he said. “I’m proud to be here representing our church; which is a very diverse, multicultural church at Trinity. It’s exciting to see that what’s going on in our church is going on in the city as well. We’re coming together because we’re all in celebration of being part of the same family; which is the family of Christ.”

Juneteenth

Juneteenth commemorates the pronouncement by Gen. Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, that slaves were free following the Emancipation Proclamation, according to A-J Media archives.

Darlene McCormick, the public relations representative for the Unified Juneteenth Commission, said the celebration of Juneteenth is different now than it was back in 1865.

“A lot has changed,” she said, “a lot still needs to be changed. In 1865, it was celebrated only by a select free people. That was the enslaved who were finally free.”

McCormick pointed out how the celebration has become quite diverse.

“It’s more about unifying us in the city as a community,” she said, “not looking at race, color, creed or ethnicity. Freedom is for everyone, and that’s the freedom to speak your mind, the freedom to say what’s on your mind and to believe as you want to believe.”

She said that is why the organization is called the Unifying Juneteenth Commission.

Gospel music

Performer Sarenda Godfrey said she loves to sing gospel music.

“It touches the heart,” she said. “(Gospel) inspires me to sing.”

Godfrey, who is also the vice president of the Unified Juneteenth Commission, performed with groups Out of Control and Kings of Kings.

“The African American race is rooted in gospel,” McCormick said. “The master didn’t want slaves to pray or communicate. Singing is one way that gave (the slaves) solace for the situation that they were in.”

She said there is something about gospel music that touches the soul.

“Singing will uplift you,” McCormick said.

She said she is also in charge of the “In The Know Knowledge Bowl” taking place at Whitewood Lanes Monday, according to the website.

Registration for each team is $25, and there will be a $500 prize for the last team standing. Contact McCormick at (806) 239-5157 to register.

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