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Calvin To Host Gospel Choir Concert
November 9 , 2006

For the second straight year, Calvin College will be hosting a concert of gospel choirs from colleges and universities in Michigan and elsewhere.

The concert will feature gospel choirs from Calvin, Grand Valley State University, Hope College, the University of Michigan and Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

It will take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday, November 18 in the Calvin College Fine Arts Center. The concert is free and open to the public, and a freewill offering will be taken to benefit local churches.

“Last year over a thousand people attended, and it was a very, very diverse crowd in terms of ethnicity, race and age,” says Jermale Eddie (right), a project developer for Calvin’s office of Multicultural Student Development. “Basically, it’s an army of God’s children giving him honor and glory.”

Eddie, who pioneered the gospel concert at New Hope Baptist Church in 2004, hopes to draw a similar cloud of witnesses to this year’s event, titled, “Where Are You?”

He is collaborating on the concert with Wesley Morgan, an admissions counselor at Kuyper College and Nate Glasper, who directs gospel choirs at both Calvin and Grand Valley.

The theme of the concert, Eddie says, is based on Ephesians 6:12: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

“We want people to get ready for spiritual warfare,” Eddie says. “We believe that God has chosen the choirs he wants to be here.”

The concert is slated to start a little earlier than in previous years to allow for a prolonged period of fellowship afterward. Both Johnny’s and the Fish House coffee house will be open post-concert to allow both choirs and audience to have refreshments and mingle.

“I just want to make sure that when this is over, we can still have that atmosphere of fellowship. Just keep the party going,” Eddie says. “Call it an after party.”

He looks forward to welcoming a wider community to Calvin and vice versa.

“We draw people from all different communities and from beyond Grand Rapids. This is a bigger than a Calvin thing. It’s a God thing,” Eddie says. “It’s important for Calvin to do it because Calvin is a Christian college. We’ve got to be active in bringing in God, in bringing in the church to this campus, bringing in people to this campus. We need to let people know that Calvin College is not just a sign off the Beltline on the way to Woodland Mall.”

~written by marketing and communications staff writer Myrna Anderson