Church energized for history program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The Norfolk State University Gospel Choir, under the direction of Minister Alvin Rooks, brought spiritual energy and praise to Tabernacle Christian Church on Sunday when it presented a gospel concert during the church’s annual Black History Celebration.

&uot;We are in the spirit of giving and not only are we giving this special concert and plenty of good food to the community to enjoy, but the congregation also took up a collection of $1,100 in our morning worship service to give to a family of four who got burned out of their home recently,&uot; said Pastor Carlton R. Upton Sr.


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Latoya Whitaker was mistress of ceremonies for the program.

Juanita G. Riddick, minister of music at Tabernacle for the past four years, said the church has been presenting a program annually that has included a full course soul food meal. The Voices of Norfolk had been presenting the musical part of the program for the past three years but this year they wanted the event to be a little different.

Riddick has also been employed at Norfolk State for the past 23 years and works in the Student Financial Services Dept.

&uot;My niece is in the group and I know Mr. Juan Alexander, associate director of Alumni Relations so it wasn’t hard getting the choir to sing for us because I also wanted also wanted to take those attending the concert into a new kind of ministry,&uot; she said.

The NSU Gospel Choir is a 65-member group that was recognized as a campus organization in 1978. Its purpose is to spread the gospel through the ministry of song. The choir has placed first and second in local and national competition and has sponsored gospel concerts and revivals and has ministered its music throughout the United States. It has opened concerts for The Winans, Richard Smallwood and the Smallwood Singers, Hezekiah Walker, John P. Kee, the New Community Choir and many others.

The choir’s testimony is &uot;He Brought Me, Yes He Brought Me&uot; and &uot;The Anointing Makes the Difference in our Lives.&uot;

Others on the program were Bessie Newsome, Chandra Godette, Cadrina Ralph, Constance Upton, Juanita Riddick and Pastor Carlton R. Upton Sr.

The soul food feast was held in J.O. Lee Fellowship Hall immediately following the program. The menu included pig feet, collard greens, potato salad, chitterlings, corn bread and others.