An evening of praise, worship

Members of the group Christian Women on the Move perform during the Gospel Explosion at The Temple of Deliverance Baptist Church.

Brad McClenny/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 4:20 p.m.

‘A Gospel Evening of Praise and Worship" lived up to its billing as a praise and worship celebration filled with anointed voices lifting up the name of Jesus.



Pastor: The Rev. Wyatt Wallace.

Location: New Creation Fellowship at 2500 NE 15th St.

Services: Sunday worship service is 1-3:30 p.m. and Bible study is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Phone: 904-651-9396.

Sponsored by Temple Deliverance Baptist Church and held at New Creation Fellowship Church at 2500 NE 15th St., the atmosphere at the concert was electric and mesmerizing from the beginning.

Temple Deliverance has its services at 1 p.m. Sundays at New Creation. An installation service will be held at 4 p.m. Sunday at New Creation for the Rev. Wallace E. Wyatt, pastor of Temple Deliverance. The guest speaker will be the Rev. James Merritt of Ephesians Baptist Church in Jacksonville.

The concert began with a musical prelude by keyboardist Mildred Dewberry, minister of music at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Gainesville. After that, Wallace served as co-emcee of the concert with saxophonist Arvetta Hill of Gainesville. Wallace wasted no time getting parishioners in the mood to praise and worship God.

"Stand to your feet and give God a hallelujah praise," said Wallace, who has been the pastor of the church since it was founded in May.

The concert included performances by Christian Women on the Move, the Temple Deliverance Gospel Singers, Ericka Stephens, Leona Williams, Leon Young, all of Gainesville, and others.

Ericka Stephens of Gainesville, the first performer to sing, raised the bar for the performers following her by singing "Breathe on Me" and "He's Been Faithful to Me." Stephens has a dynamic, rangy and soulful voice that made some parishioners stand to their feet praising God as she sang.

"I am excited today because of the redemptive work Jesus did that I can go boldly before the throne of grace and I can speak to my father knowing that he will hear me," Stephens said.

During the performance by Christian Women on the Move, Hill made a point to let parishioners know the group does not only sing, but are really Christians on the move.

"I want to tell you something about these women," Hill said. "They have the right name and they are truly women of God. They do a lot of things in the community, including feeding the hungry."

The group sang "I Love to Call on the Name Jesus" and "I'm on My Way to Heaven."

Another highlight of the concert was the performance by the Temple Deliverance Gospel Singers, who soulfully marched down the center aisle to the front of the church. Joined by Hill on keyboards and Williams and Young on vocals, the singers sang "Melodies from Heaven" and "I Will Go If I Have to Go by Myself," with the latter led by the husband-and-wife duo of Jonathan and Sonya Bennett.

While the concert continued with good music, Wallace took a few minutes to talk to the Guardian as fish was being fried under a tent outside the sanctuary.

Wallace, 57, was born and raised in Orlando, but he now lives in Jacksonville. He has been married to his wife, Joann Wallace, for 18 years. They have four children and 13 grandchildren.

He said he has been pastoring since 1983 after receiving his calling to ministry in 1981. He said he was formerly the pastor at Jerusalem Baptist Church in Olustee and Macedonia Baptist Church in Orlando.

"After receiving my calling, I began preaching in 1982 and became pastor of my first church in 1983," said Wallace, adding that he also served an eight-year stint as moderator of the Mount Sinai Baptist Association, which ended in the early 2000s.

He said Temple Deliverance will make a difference in Gainesville.

"This ministry is going to be almost like an outreach ministry," Wallace said. "We are going out to the highways and hedges like the Bible says and compel dying men and women and boys and girls, letting them know that the wages of sin is death and the gift of God is eternal life."

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