*Atlanta, GA – There was plenty of “love” in the atmosphere during Valentine’s weekend for the 17th Annual Gospel Heritage Praise & Worship Conference held in Atlanta. Gospel Today magazine founder Dr. Teresa Hairston put forth the largest international Gospel event during Black History Month.
The conference host was Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. (Presiding Bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship & Senior Pastor of Changing a Generation Church SW Atlanta). Every morning beginning on February 14th, started with praise and worship, followed by sessions with educational workshops with top preferred instructors. This Black History Month event is the only live broadcast musical event in Atlanta aired by The Impact Network on cable television.
Those that came to sing the Gospel were many including a choir from Stockholm Sweden that performed with amazing talent. Grammy and Stellar Award Winners were center stage including Donald Lawrence (“The Best is Yet to Come”), Vashawn Mitchell (“Nobody Greater”), Bishop Hezekiah Walker (“I Need You to Survive”), Lacrecia Campbell (“We Maginfy Your Name”) and more! Even Bishop Morton’s extended his southern hospitality singing his praises with his latest hit, (“Your Best Days Yet”) and his signature recording, “Let it Rain.”
One of the prominent features for the event was the award ceremony which took place each evening. This year’s highlight was Edwin Hawkins, known as “The Father of Contemporary Gospel Music.” Hawkins is famous for his arrangement of the hymn “Oh Happy Day!” which has sold over 7 million units and was featured in Whoopi Goldberg’s “Sister Act 2“, and many other films. Others awarded were prominent legends, Reverend Al Sharpton and Pastor Jasper Williams of Salem Baptist Church of Atlanta who is celebrating 60 years in the ministry.
As this conference continues to travel worldwide to many cities, Dr. Hairston made the announcement at the closing session that the conference will return in 2014 to Atlanta at Changing a Generation Full Gospel Baptist Church. We can expect to see more greatness added to the roster for next year and this international movement to spread more wildflowers of its heritage and gospel.