Repeated shouts of “Hallelujah,” “praise God” and “Jesus saves” filled the intersection of King and Crenshaw Boulevards as local and national artists performed on the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage at the 11th Annual Taste of Soul family festival.
Thousands of people fellowshipped, clapped, swayed and danced as vocalists and musicians rendered gospel songs ranging from traditional to contemporary to rap and to reggae. The community response was a huge salute to the vision of the late Marsh-Mitchell, who designed and managed the gospel stage from its inception in 2005 until her passing in 2014.
Christian comedian J-Red and KJLH broadcaster Aundrae Russell hosted the first half of the daylong program. Local artists included the Holman Quartet and Jubilant Voices of Holman United Methodist Church, Brent Jones and the Best Life Church choir, Karen Wiggins Ministries, West Angeles Choir, FAME Unity Choir, L.A. Mass Choir, Riverside Mass Choir, Andrew Gouche, Uncle Reece, Paul Porter and The Haddons.
“Taste of Soul is amazing,” said Deitrick Haddon, who sang with his siblings. “Last year, I had the privilege of doing a main stage and this year, I had the privilege to sing with my family on the gospel stage. I’m honored I was asked to come and be a part.”
The McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour highlighted the afternoon session, thanks to the sponsorship of the McDonald’s Black Operators Association of Southern California.
“McDonald’s Black Operators Association of Southern California sponsors the Brenda Marsh-Mitchell Gospel Stage because we believe in giving back to the community,” said Reggie Webb, a local franchisee.
With Lonnie Hunter serving as emcee, award-winning artists sang their chart-topping hits. The huge audience stretched far east on King as people listened music by Donald Lawrence, Bishop Marvin Sapp, Karen Clark-Sheard, Pastor Charles Jenkins, Christian rapper Canton Jones, Jonathan McReynolds and Doug Williams of the famed Williams Brothers. Also, Christian comedienne Small Fire kept the crowd laughing with her humorous routine.
As the concert closed, Holman Pastor Kelvin Sauls shared, “It’s a great honor for us at Holman United Methodist Church to continue to partner with McDonald’s and the Bakewell Media Company to see how we can glorify God, edify those who come and keep the legacy of Brenda Marsh-Mitchell alive. This year, we went to the next level and we’re looking forward to going higher and higher!”