A majority of the congregation was fully involved in praise and song at the Gospel Song Fest as the Union Gospel Choir from Union UMC in Delmar, Md., sang throughout the event on Saturday, Sept. 19, at Curtis United Methodist Church in Bishopville, Md.
The United Methodist Women (UMW) of Curtis sponsored the event, and one of their own, Priscilla Postley, decided to make the Gospel Song Fest come to life.
Postley’s role in the church is serving as an usher and secretary of the Delmarva Usher Association for Maryland, Delaware and Virginia counties.
Outside the church, Postley works for Compton Trust, also known as Tyson, and has worked in the chicken business for 35 years, with work experience from Showell to Perdue.
Postley said the UMW tries to do different events throughout the year to raise money for mission projects, and a Gospel Song Fest inspired her.
“To help finance in that, we have to do things, and this was one of them I came up with as part of that fundraiser,” she added.
Postley said she was very familiar with the Union Gospel Choir, which was why the UMW decided to choose them for the Gospel Song Fest event.
“They were here at Curtis’ Usher’s Day back in February with their pastor, Rev. James Young, and they did a dynamic, awesome job,” she said.
The UMW advertised their event by word-of-mouth and handing out fliers to different churches.
Postley gave advice to those who wanted to plan a similar event to the Gospel Song Fest — not to carry all the load but to work with a group, rather than doing it alone.
“Pray about it, and if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it,” she said.
Union Gospel Choir member Peggy Evans retired after serving the military and has been a part of the choir for 10 years.
Evans said that the choir is very family-oriented because most of them are relatives, and the ones that gave her inspiration were choir members Rosemary Hudson and Lorraine Carrigan, and Gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.
“I just like singing for the Lord,” she added.
Evans said the choir goes to different churches to do full programs like the Gospel Song Fest, and they travel to places such as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
“This isn’t something that’s new, because we do it all the time,” she added.
Evans said that they would definitely come back if they were asked to return and sing again for the Gospel Song Fest next year.
“Young people need the church, and the older people can’t seem to get them back in anymore,” she added. “So you need to have something that young people like. If they want rap Gospel, give it to them. Whatever the need is, I would suggest bringing it to the forefront.”
Curtis United Methodist church member Edna “Peggy” Solomon said she also enjoyed music. She is the Pastor-Parish Relations chairwoman and a member of the finance committee, serving at the church since 2001.
Outside the church, Solomon retired from the postal service and currently works for the State of Delaware as an administrative assistant, for eight years in February.
Solomon said her favorite part of the Gospel Song Fest was when they started the event off with praise and worship.
“I liked the worship leader, she was wonderful with the way she got the crowd into it and wanted the people to praise God and do what they’re supposed to do,” she added.
Solomon said she would come again if the Gospel Song Fest became an annual event and recommends others to come and attend.
“I think it’s great to get together and praise God and listen to songs. It doesn’t always have to be preaching,” she added.