Spirituality

Celebrating the true King


A large crowd gathered at the King Center Monday afternoon to take part in the 2010 national holiday gospel celebration sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of Florida Inc.

BRAD MCCLENNY/Special to the Guardian
Published: Thursday, January 21, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 20, 2010 at 2:45 p.m.

When the Rev. Karl "The Rev." Anderson saw the tentative program for the King Celebration 2010 Gospel Extravaganza, he knew the program was going to be just like having church.

Anderson presided over the program held Monday at the King Center.

He began by saying he knew it was going to be a special day once he saw who was on the program.

More than 300 people attended the program, which included performances by local gospel artists Minister Sebrenah Phillips, Evangelist Gladys Ellis and her daughter, Psalmist Charlotte Ellis-Colbert, hip-hop gospel artist DeQuan King and a praise dance by Miessha Minter.

"I couldn't wait for today to get here because I knew we were going to have church," Anderson said.

Anderson sang "This Little Light of Mine" as he opened the program.

He then told a story about how he was stopped by a police officer in a small town in Mississippi in November.

He said the officer called him the N-word, and told him to get down on his knees. He said the officer handcuffed him and roughed him up. He said people have asked him did he get a name or badge number. "The only name I know is Jesus," said Anderson, adding that soon after being roughed up by the officer, one of their wives passed by.

"When she passed by, that diffused the situation a little bit. I truly believe that if she had not passed by, that would have been the last time I would have been seen. But I thank God that God is a savior. God is a healer, and I want you to know that although we have an African-American president, we still have a lot of praying to do. Although we have an African-American president, we still have a lot of work to do. We have not arrived, and I am here to tell you that straight up."

Phillips of Higher Anointing Outreach Ministries in Archer, was the first to perform. She began by asking people to praise God on the count of three. On the count of three, the crowd stood up and shouted praises to the Lord.

She began by singing "Balm of Gilead" and "I Cried Out Unto the Lord." She ended her performance by singing "One More Chance."

"He is a God of second, third, fourth and fifth chances," Phillips said. "I'm so glad the Lord gave me one more chance."

The performance by Phillips set the atmosphere and had people dancing, waving their hands, shouting and praising God.

"My! My! My!" Anderson said as Phillips left the stage jumping up and down while shouting "Hallelujah!"

"My goodness," Anderson said. "Can you feel it already. I know that was the holy ghost. She was shouting with heels on and on top of cords."

The crowd was then blessed with a dynamic, energetic and inspirational performance by Monteocha community residents Ellis and Ellis-Colbert, both of whom attend New Jerusalem Church of God by Faith in Monteocha.

"We are here to lift up the name of Jesus, and have some church," Ellis said. "When I think of the goodness of Jesus, and all he has done for me, my soul cries out." They song several songs, including "I Love to Praise His Name," "Encourage Yourself" and "Blessed Assurance."

Ellis and Ellis-Colbert had the King Center in a holy-ghost frenzy as they walked off the stage and mingled with people in the audience while they performed.

The program ended with a praise dance by Minter and a performance by King, whose hip-hop gospel act always energizes the young and old.

Opening up for King was "Predestined," a group he manages. King then performed several songs, including "Hey Daddy" and "What Do You See," both of which are on his new mixed tape that will be released next month.

"I loved the way the crowd received my new songs, especially "Hey Daddy," which is about fathers not being in the home or raising their children," King said.

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