Explosion of Gospel

Published 10:00 pm Thursday, December 18, 2008

It started as just a family dance, and now it’s a full-blown explosion.

Marcus “Boogie” Williams is back this year, hosting the Second Annual Christmas Gospel Explosion this Saturday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Suffolk National Guard Armory.

The event is a follow-up to last year’s bash, which brought in more 400 guests to the armory.

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And this year, Williams wants it to be bigger and better than last year.

Williams, who owns Boogie’s Auto Services, is donating a 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier to give away at the event.

“It’s hard to put under the tree, but it’ll look good in the drive way for somebody’s Christmas,” Williams said. “Last year was very successful for it being the first one we had. I kind of thought this year we would do a little more and see how that may turn out what kind of response we would get from that.”

Additionally, this year there will be more gospel acts performing as well.

Among the acts performing at this year’s event will be The Singing Larks, Kenneth Shields & Anointed Worship, The New Pearlee Gates, The Golden Keys, Prayze and The Metropolitan Male Chorus.

“To me this is more of a family event because you say gospel and you’re allowing in adults and kids,” Williams said. “People from the age of infants on up to 70 and 80 years old. People come in to sit down, eat a meal and listen to good gospel singing.”

This event has grown exponentially from where it began just a few years ago. Williams used to collect toys to donate back to children in the community. In 2005, he branched out and solicited help from local businesses and community partners for more donations. Still unsatisfied with the donations he got, Williams began planning a family dance where he would charge an admission to help purchase more toys and food for families.

It became so popular that last year he held the event at the armory to get everyone in.

This year admission to the event is $10, plus a toy to donate.

Those toys and monetary donations all go to William’s Wal-Mart giveaway on Sunday, Dec. 21. On Sunday, Williams will be outside the Wal-Mart parking lot downtown giving away hams, toys and other miscellaneous items to anyone who stops by.

Williams said even with all of the fun and fellowship Saturday night’s event brings, it always comes back to the work that is done that Sunday.

“The reason for this particular event will be to go back to that Wal-Mart parking lot the very next day and help make people’s lives a little better,” he said. “I’m looking for this one to hopefully be as successful or more than last year.”