Gospel Fest 2011 ( Rain Could Not Stop the Praise)
Papa San had the crowd wanting more at Gospel Fest 2011 [Photoslide Included]
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI – Just like last year when Jamaican Dancehall/Reggae Gospel artiste Papa San was here and the rain came, this time it was not going to stop the praises, the honour and the blessings to pour as Papa San himself, on taking to the stage, said “rain or shine we are going to praise the Lord” and ceased the rain did to allow for a mighty performance that had the crowd shouting for more at the Mighty Rockey Festiville last night July 21, 2011.
Papa San took to the stage at 10:15 p.m. with “Fire in the Dancehall” and followed up songs like “Jesus is the only way” and “Step on the enemy”, which saw the crowd moved closer to the stage and began to sing, dance and wave. And after nearly an hour of an energetic and inspiring performance that saw him dish out further songs like “Smile again”, “Jesus my saviour” and Sing praise”, the drummer did his combination of beats to signal the end of the show – but not a soul moved – and Papa San had no choice but to continue. This he did for another half hour.
After singing his first song, Papa San lamented that God had given many persons lots of talent to sing but they use it for the wrong things and instead sing about drugs, money and discriminate against women. He then burst into a tune that started with “I may not drive a fancy car but Jesus I love u…”, a rhythm from the popular Dancehall song “I don’t know why” by Buju Banton and Wayne Wonder.
Throughout his performance, Papa San had the crowd active and they never seemed to get tired and some persons even screamed for the show to go till mid-night. Further proof that Papa San really touched the hearts of those who turned out for Gospel Fest 2011, his CDs on sale were sold out. But even if the CD doesn’t prove to be sufficient, at least they can look forward to his new album, which he said would be out shortly.
Anguillan Gospel singer Susan Best- Richardson, although briefly interrupted by rain, built the crowd up for the entry of Papa San for just about half an hour with songs like “Breakthrough”, “I’ve found my strength in you”, “You are God alone” and “I will be still”, which she said she came up with in 2008 when she was going through some struggles and while walking on the beach God told her to be still. The message she said was that sometimes when we are faced with troubles we need to stop making noise and let God do his work.
During her final song “He is so sweet”, Richardson told the Gospel fans and worshippers to show that Jesus was sweet by singing and dancing, which they willingly did.
Local Gospel band 360, made up of singers Stacy Brewley, Stephanie George, Deanna Wattley, Jermaine Baltimore, Mc Kenzie Baltimore Jr., drummer Threcio Phillips, base man Darren Vanterpool and pianist Brent Hoyte, had the honour of starting the night’s proceedings. They started with a praise medley before singing “Power of Christ and Delivered”.
Next up was Dominion, which consists of Tracia Smith, Lavern John, Texford John, Niran Sheniece and Lynette Richardson. Their songs included “God so loved the world”, “Oh my God” and “He is the greatest love”.
Master of Ceremonies Mr. Henderson Tittle then called to the stage the young and vibrant El Shaddai choir, who kept the flow going until it was time for the first of the two featured artistes of Gospel Fest 2011 to perform.
Bishop Melvin Turnbull said he had to give thanks to God for what has been a long road to getting Papa San to perform in the Virgin Islands at Gospel Fest since he was here last year but the show was rained out. Bishop Turnbull also encouraged those persons who were moved to give their lives to Christ, to read their bible, pray in order to establish a relationship with God and fellowship by going to a bible believing church and “God would take you daily from grace to grace”.
He noted, however, that the devil had already started working on them and may even use friends to get them to lose faith but stated that the “devil is a liar”.
Gospel Fest is a collaboration of the Virgin Islands Festivals and Fairs Committee and the Ministry of Education and Culture, and according to Bishop Turnbull, it is a time of “celebrating our freedom not only from slavery but in Jesus Christ”.
Pastor Turnbull had previously told VINO that the Gospel Fest being held prior to the opening of the Festival Village has been the tradition although he noted that it should have been part of the official opening as much religious celebration was observed when the proclamation for the emancipation of slavery was read.
“In fact it should have been where we would in fact have been opening everything because that was how it began when the proclamation was read. The people went and give thanks to God and I think we have strayed away from that. So we have been trying to get the emphasis back on the emancipation.”