After about four hours of rehearsal, with a short break to share snacks we brought, it was dinnertime, during which we continued the fellowship that Gospelfest encourages. Then came the evening performance, with several of the participating church choirs offering their variety of worship songs and concluding with our mass choir singing the songs we'd learned in the afternoon.
Several times during the day, I thought of Martin Luther King's words, "Eleven o'clock on Sunday morning is the most segregated hour in Christian America." According to Wilson, "Gospelfest has become more and more inclusive. The process of seeing, learning, and participating in new faith traditions has served to take down walls and create relationships."
I left unconverted in my faith (conversion, of course, was never the intention) but feeling that Gospelfest had succeeded in its dual goals of deepening appreciation for gospel music and forming bridges between people.
Gospelfest 2014 will be held on February 22 at Brown Chapel AME Church in Ypsilanti.
[Originally published in February, 2014.]