Festival of Praise inspires thousands
Headliners lay hands on homeless man and and pray for him
By Arriale Henry
POMPANO, FL – The Gospel star-studded Festival of Praise tour featuring multiple award winning artists Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin, Kim Burrell plus Hezekiah Walker, Isaac Carree, Jessica Reedy and Zacardi Cortez packed the Pompano Beach Amphitheatre on Oct. 15, 2015.
It was an honor to bring the Festival of Praise to our community and to create an evening of inspiration and unity,” said Idella Grissett, Community Relations Director. “We worshipped in spirit and in truth, the City of Pompano will never forget.”
To kick off the show, Christian comedian Marcus Wiley had the crowd in stitches with jokes that only Black churchgoers would probably understand. “How many ushers do we have in the audience?” he asked. “Then stand up and help the rest of these people to their seats.” It was non-stop laughter during his segment.
It was a rare sight to see so many Gospel headliners make their entrance gracefully yet demanding much presence. Together, these amazing vocalists shared the stage, performing back-to-back worship hits, reminding many of the attending Christ followers of the omnipresence of God. Hundreds stood with their arms raised towards the heaven; the weat-her made for a beautiful night at the outdoor venue, allowing many participants to praise & worship peacefully.
“It’s wonderful to see my city together without any violence,” chimed local poetry artist Eccentrich. “It’s more than religion, this is spiritual. This is how you rebuild a city.”
The first half of this magnetizing concert featured the artists performing a medley of songs all at once, then after a brief intermission they performed solos “bringing down the house” after each set. At one point in the show, Richi,e a homeless man, sat Indian-style on the floor in front of the stage. When I asked him what made him come to the front, he simply replied, “I don’t know.” Perhaps the spirit led him there but he certainly caught the attention of the stars on stage who jokingly yet seriously told security to allow him to stay in that spot and reach out to lay their hands on his head. He spent the rest of the night occasionally raising his arms in praise
“This was truly an awe-inspiring evening,” said Alyona Ushe, president of Pompano Beach Arts. “Watching 3,000 people sing and praise together as one community truly touched everyone who attended.”