BY JAMES HARPER
Deacon Harold Ford and Prophetess Deborah Ford, hosts of Gospel Hallelujah World Wide Radio Ministries, will be the emcees for a free concert featuring several Florida chapters of the Gospel Music Workshop of America (GMWA).
“There’s not a better way to express the gratitude I have for the Lord and to be a part of this greatest of historic organizations. We look forward to doing great things,” said Ford, who along with his wife have a radio show that airs locally on WPUL-1590 every Sunday morning from 9:30 to 10 a.m.
A lot to offer
The Fords also have a church in Daytona Beach located at 327 Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, which meets every Sunday at noon.
“I’m very honored and excited,” said Mrs. Ford about hosting the concert. “Having a love for gospel music and the Lord Jesus, what better place could I be in than a night of worship as a gospel radio personality. The GMWA has a lot to offer to the gospel music industry.’’
The concert will include groups from Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale and Daytona Beach. It will take place Sept. 15, starting at 6 p.m. at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church.
Also on the bill are saxophonist Wanda Cobb, The Spiritualettes and Syxx Plus.
Roger Nutt, the musician for the Daytona Beach chapter, said the local chapter was reactivated last year after being dormant for a number of years. The original Volusia/Flagler Chapter was started by Barbara Gorley.
Daytona Beach retired educator Betty Bates is on the national board of the GMWA.
Mission of GMWA
Founded in 1967 by the Rev. James Cleveland, the Gospel Music Workshop of America has an annual convention bringing together people who love gospel music from America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean, including a wide range of many faiths, according to the organizations website.
“The Daytona Beach Chapter is open to all Volusia and Flagler county residents from Palm Coast to Oak Hill and everywhere in between,” said Nutt.
“We are looking to expand and grow and continue to serve and worship the Lord in spirit and truth, concluded Nutt.
The mission of the GMWA is to preserve the heritage of gospel music in America, while providing a forum for the development of excellence in the presentation of gospel music.
Further, to increase opportunities for the perpetuation of Gospel music throughout other industries, arenas and the world, said the website.
The goal of GMWA is to continue the heritage of Gospel music by academically preparing Gospel artists for the future; to raise the level of excellence in the worship experience; and to provide a forum/platform in which all forms of Gospel can matriculate.
Nutt said each group is expected to sing at least two songs during Saturday’s concert.
The Volusia/Flagler Chapter of GMWA meets the first and third Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 633 Roy Avenue, Daytona Beach Florida.
Other local members in addition to Bates and Nutt include the Rev. Willie Branch, Willie Allen, Janice Dukes and Jackie Whitfield.
For more information about the local chapter, call Bates at 386-252-2109. The national website address is http://gmwanational.net.