Gospel Fest promises to entertain BU audiences

By Ashley Davis
Copy Editor

The time for interfaith and multicultural worship has come for those attending Gospel Fest this Saturday.

Gospel Fest 2013, hosted by Baylor’s Heavenly Voices gospel choir, will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday in Waco Hall.

This year’s theme is “Still Standing.” The acts include gospel choirs from all over Waco and the Central Texas area, such as Acts Church, the University of North Texas gospel choir, the Waco Community Choir, The Levites from Austin and many more.

Alfred Rucker, Killeen junior and co-chair for the event, said this year’s theme was inspired by a song of the same name that the director of Heavenly Voices wrote last year. The song described the director’s experience of being let go from his job but still trusting in God to see him through to the next stage of his life.

Rucker said the Bible verse in 2 Chronicles 20:17 is the perfect representation of what Heavenly Voices stands for. The verse states, “You will not need to fight in this battle. Position yourselves, stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, who is with you, O Judah and Jerusalem! Do not fear or be dismayed: tomorrow go out against them, for the Lord is with you.”

Rucker, a transfer student from LSU, became involved with Heavenly voices last year in an attempt to meet people in a new environment. He said he loved the people and the way they worshipped. He has been going to practices ever since.

“I think the purpose of having this choir is that it’s a group that really represents Baylor,” Rucker said. “Gospel Fest’s contribution to Baylor and the community is that it brings churches and even people of different religions together in unified worship. It gives freshmen and transfer students a way to branch out and gain a really strong group of friends.”

Kelly Kimple, assistant director of Multicultural Affairs, said the event is supposed to be a praise and worship experience that brings people together.

“We hope that even though people don’t worship in the same way, this event will help them realize we praise the same God,” Kimple said.

Kimple, along with Ronald English, the adviser for Heavenly Voices, holds meetings with the chair-people of the event and assists with the organization of invitations and accommodating outside groups that come to perform. Kimple said she would like to see more involvement from the Baylor community.

“It’s mostly people from the Waco community that come along with some Baylor students,” Kimple said.

Rucker said that while he is happy with the excitement of the people involved in Heavenly Voices and Gospel Fest, he wants the choir to get out of Miller Chapel (where they practice) in the Tidwell Bible Building.

“I want people to not be afraid to sing out,” he said.

Doors will open at 6 p.m. Presale tickets are $10 and $15 at the door. Tickets can be bought from any member of Heavenly Voices or Kelly Kimple, whose office is located in the Student Activities office on the first floor of the Bill Daniel Student Center.