Syncopated Gospel Hits Home
Saturday night March 16, St Timothy’s United Methodist Church in Raleigh joined with GCI Memphis to host one of the country’s premier Gospel groups in the sanctuary – Plattsburgh State Gospel Choir.
The 37-member visiting team is made up of people who live one hour south of Montreal, Canada and features a whole array of different Christian folk – 21 students, military retirees, secretaries, computer types, Caribbean immigrants, grandmothers and more. Dexter Chriss from Stuttgart, Arkansas leads the group and there was definitely a feeling of homecoming as his wife and mother sang and his brother visited from Atlanta.
“Hallelujah Chorus” began the evening with a song about “how good God has been to us” as Dr. Criss said. The opening numbers were tuneful and melodic, easy to sing along with and that the appreciative audience of more than 120 did.
“We have come into this house” exhibited more the syncopated Gospel style with plenty of bodily dip and rises and lively "wooos" in the responses. Vibrant to say the least.
The lyrics to “I Won’t Turn Back” expressed the heartfelt yet trusting determination of folks locked in slavery, “I will go, I shall go, to see what the end will be.” The hushed ending focused attention on the sensation of walking humbly with your God.
The pace picked up again with “King Jesus is a listenin’ when you pray” – a true crowd-pleaser and so easy to join in on.
A praise dance team and quartet doing the inevitable “Swing Low” and the stately “My Help” from the words of Psalm 121 drew the evening to a close but not before the insistent, lively, spontaneity of “Stand Up and be a Witness” thrilled the audience one more time.
It was hard not to agree with Dr. Chriss, “Serving the Lord with gladness is more of what this old world needs.” And how. Amen.