“The Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage continues its tradition of presenting inspirational music highlighting hope, joy, and thanksgiving. Brenda loved the Lord and loved praising His name, so the fact that we are saluting choirs and legendary choir directors is a fitting tribute to her memory,” stated Taste of Soul Founder/Creator Danny J. Bakewell, Sr.
The stage made its debut during the 9th Annual Taste of Soul and has since been one of the many focal points of the festival. Enjoy this year’s 17th Annual Taste of Soul Family Festival on Saturday, October 15, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
This year’s theme of the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage is the Year of the Choir and will be hosted by Lester Barrier, assistant pastor at Atherton Baptist Church in Hawthorne. He’s a USC graduate and a former host of BET’s “ComicView.”
When asked about hosting the Gospel Stage, Lester said, “I’m very excited to host this year. I’ve attended the festival for many years, and I’ve always wanted to officially be apart of the celebration. I am a host at heart, and I plan to keep the show nice and light, [and] keep a smile on everyone’s face.”
Barrier is the only pastor/ comedian with a comedy special, currently available on Amazon. “Super Saint” is an inspirational and unique stand-up from a comedian, who is also a pastor.
Performances will honor gospel singers of the past like James Cleveland, Andrae Crouch, Walter Hawkins, and the founder of Pentecostal Community Choir, Keith Pringle. The stage will be located at the intersection of Crenshaw and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards with sponsorships from Civil and Human Rights Organization Yes on A For Sheriff Accountability.
The Rev. Dr. Michael J. T. Fisher, senior pastor of Greater Zion Church Family, the oldest church in Compton founded by African Americans, shared his sentiments about this year’s celebration, saying, “This Taste of Soul is personal because we all have survived the past two years by the power of God. We owe Him this moment.
“Our choir decided to be a part of this year’s Taste of Soul because we want to honor our past leaders and gatekeepers that have shaped the sound of gospel music. My father (the late Rev. Dr. Jerome Fisher) was part of that sound. Our church has always had a significant influence in the L.A. gospel music scene. We want to tell the story of our past and now our future.”
Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church, who will also be in attendance, shared the importance of his choir’s participation. “Taste of Soul is a tribute the legacy, value and contribution of the African American community in the history of greater Los Angeles. The ‘keeper of the flame,’ Danny Bakewell, and his team have maintained the vision of community contribution, progress, and viability throughout the challenges of the past few years of racial, economic and health crises.”
Bishop Ulmer added, “Our ministry, Faithful Central Bible Church, the Family of Champions, are humbled and honored to join vendors, artists, entrepreneurs, and community leaders in carrying and passing the torch of inspiration and encouragement to all ages and generations.
“I and Co-Pastor John Paul Foster see it as an opportunity to play a small part in a gigantic vision. We declare that the best is yet to come for our youth, our community our institutions and our families of faith. We join the Sentinel staff in inviting and encouraging all who love our community to bring your family, walking shoes, and dollars to support, invest and enjoy this annual community family gathering.”
This year’s performers wil be Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum, Shari Demby & Friends, gospel Music Workshop of America – L.A. Chapter, Greater LL.A. Community Choir, FM2 & Interntional, Spirit of David, L.A. Inner City Mass Choir, B. Terrell & VIP, KJLH Radio Free Voices, Faithful Central Choir and J Kingdom and After 12.
Brenda Marsh-Mitchell’s served as the longtime assistant to Taste of Soul Found/Creator and Bakewell Media Chairman Danny J. Bakewell, Sr. In her honor, Bakewell Media proudly brings to the community the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel stage, in honor of her long standing dedication to her community and in honor of her love for her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.