DENBIGH, Clarendon — Described by organisers as the most well-attended ever, the Hi-Pro Denbigh Gospel Extravaganza was an unforgettable night of 'heaven on earth'.
Thousands of patrons flocked the show grounds shortly after 6:00 pm on Sunday to begin the worship experience with emcee Dr Nadine Blair, and Perpetual Sounds of Praise, who set the tone for what was to come.
They started off with a medley of choruses, including songs such as He Rolled the Sea Away and When We All Get to Heaven, which got the crowd rocking and skanking.
Visually impaired Courtney Cooke was next on stage and he invited the audience to Gi Mi Pass as he delivered an energetic performance. Orville Sutherland, 2016 Jamaica Gospel Song finalist, then had the warriors draw for their Mac 11, as they shouted "bengeh bengeh". Afterwards, Latoya HD reminded the crowd that, despite all that the country is facing, God's Eyes On Me.
Reverend Goddy Goddy, who had been absent from live performances for the past three years, graced the crowd with his lyrical competence, while not excluding some of the old favourites such as Chacka Chi Chi.
Bishop Everton Thomas of Emmanuel Apostolic Church then gave a charge from Galatians 5:22-23, which speaks of the fruit of the spirit. In recalling the gruesome death of Kemesha Wright and her four children from Cocoa Piece who were buried earlier the same day, Bishop Thomas shared his thoughts on where a solution can be found.
"What Jamaica needs now is love… more love. It's the only thing that there's just too little of," he said, adapting a line from a popular song.
After the sermonette, Carlene Davis continued the worship experience which really shifted the atmosphere. She sang a medley of songs including Handful of Salt and This Island Needs Jesus. Her remix of My Hallelujah Belongs to You led the worshippers in an extended period of adoration.
The powerful Sister Patt had the crowd rocking to African revival beats with songs such as Rock My Soul, Hand of God on the Wall, and Bible a Yuh Shield. Recalling how she was terribly rocked by COVID-19 and could hardly breathe, she testified that Massa God a God.
Despite not feeling well for the past few weeks, and even with an almost-inaudible voice at times, gospel singjay Jermaine Edwards brought the curtains down on a high note, having the audience as his mass choir. His selections of Hallelujah and God will Make a Way had the crowd craving more. His rendition of Beautiful Day summarises perfectly how the event went.
Performer Kareem Haynes gave the event high marks.
"The support this year was amazing. The overcast skies didn't stop worshippers and supporters from enjoying the ministry from various gospel ministers. The line-up was just right. [The organisers] didn't need to add another person at all. [The] time was well spent and the emcee, Dr Nadine Blair, did an amazing job at guiding the evening's proceedings. The presence of God and the messages communicated from various gospel ministers were just what we needed," he said.
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