Proverbs 10:22 says –
“The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow with it.”
Truly this could have been true of last weekend when Queens of Gospel was held here in Barbados at the Gym. Two nights of pure worship commencing with local talent such as Toni Norville on the Saturday along with the international stars Michelle Williams and Yolanda Adams who truly ministered. Michelle Williams sang songs from her latest gospel album and the crowd really came alive when she sang the popular single “Say Yes”.
Yolanda Adams effortlessly sang hit after hit with such conviction that the crowd was drawn in because as she ministered in between each song, it was evident that she understood she is simply the vessel and the Lord is the one who is speaking through her and continuously using her to touch lives. She sang “Since the last time I saw You”, “In the Midst of It All”, “The Battle is not Yours”, “Someone watching over You” and “Victory”, all songs of encouragement, faith and hope which we all need to be reminded of as we journey along this pathway in a world and with an enemy who is constantly on the attack to see up fail.
It was more than a concert, it was a worship session which continued smoothly on Sunday night with Terencia Coward who started off the show and her testimony is a reminder that our God is ABLE to change lives and no one is too far gone for Him to redeem. When I think of her testimony I am reminded of the song “Alabaster Box” which ironically was being sung as she made her way to the altar that day she gave her life to Him. How wonderful it is to be able to see the change the Lord is still making in lives today. Sister Marshall got the crowd going once more as she delivered an incredible performance that left everyone on fire and encouraged “Walk Holy” and keep “Marching On”!
This made way for the international artists who followed, starting with Erica Campbell who poured her all into the performance and left the crowd wanting more. She sang songs from her solo album such as “P.O.G (Power of God)”, “Looking Like”, “Help” and the one she went through the singing – “A little more Jesus”. I have been a Mary Mary fan for years, have the albums, watch the reality show and even followed the solo journey thus far of Erica Campbell, so to get to see her perform live with such passion for God and even taking time in between the songs to minister, really heightened the experience for me to see one of my favourite gospel artists live. What stood out for me during her ministering, was when she said that we often see those in the spotlight like herself going on and think they have it together, but that she too has her struggles, and it reminded me that we need to remember to pray for gospel artists.
The second international artist of the night Shurley Murdock just kept the momentum going, especially when she ministered an encouraging word – to follow and don’t give up on our dreams – “for God will not give vision without provision” and “there is an anointed time and an appointed time”. These words led up to the rendition of her song “The Dream” which left us in such an attitude and state of worship that when Cece Winans came on next to close up the night, it was like a foretaste of heaven.
Cece Winans gave a lively and energetic performance of both well known and some new songs, but every step of the way the crowd was engaged and involved, hanging on to every note and she too ministered between her songs, giving a few jokes. At the same time and most importantly, in the middle of her set, she took the time to make a plea to those who were unsaved and gave them the opportunity to repeat the sinners’ prayer after her. The mediums differ whether gospel artist in singing, a preacher or you and I, but the purpose is ever the same, and this is to spread the gospel, win souls for Him and be Godly examples of Him on a daily basis.
There is a stark difference between the average concert and a gospel concert, for in the average secular concert you go to have a good time and when you leave that’s it, but at a gospel concert it is a time of blessing and worship. It is the most awesome feeling to be in a place where the name of God is being lifted up, glorified and exalted surrounded by persons who too are in the good of Him. To feel His presence and enter into to the artist’s space for that moment and as they render and minister through song, using the gift He has given them and giving it back to Him, both the artist and the audience leave with a fresh appreciation of Him and who He is.
May we each seek to daily find time when we do nothing else but simply worship and than the Lord for everything He is, has done, is doing and will do through and for us. I truly thank God for allowing me to have been able to go both nights and here are a few photos of the moments –