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Monday, February 7, 2011

Kingsport Gospel Fest 2011: Kicking Off Black History Month

Many Riverview and Kingsport residents returned to their spiritual roots the night of Saturday, January 28,2011.

Gospel Fest brought together many area gospel music singers and groups, whose voices lifted to the heavens.

They took most of the audience right along with them.

Click here to see a picture slideshow of Gospel Fest 2011 at the Kingsport Renaissance Center.

Groups singing during Gospel Fest 2011 included the Great Commission Praise Team, "TCB - Tri Cities Blessed" Singers, Lynette Alley, Juliana Soto (a New Vision youth), the Bethel A.M.E. Choir, the Bristol Lee Street Baptist Praise Team, the Central Baptist Choir, and the ADMC Singers.

Emcee for this year's event was Riverview's own Xavier "Tim" Hall, who absolutely kept the audience in stitches between each performance.  Tim, who was raised in the church, did not hesitate to remember the little things in church everyone has taken for granted for many years.  At one point, he came out in a choir robe, to teach the singers how to represent in a black church.  The laughter grew louder, as his remembrances hit closer to home.

Gospel Fest 2011 was sponsored by the City of Kingsport, Wal-Mart, Eastman Chemical, Kingsport Parks and Recreation (Cultural Arts Division), Food City, Arts 4 Kids, the Barter Theater, D.J. Express, the Appalachian Express Mens Chorus, Regions Bank and the Kingsport Arts Guild.  Committee members for Gospel Fest 2011 are Stella Robinette, chairperson, Doug Releford, co-chairperson, Lucy Fleming, Martha Beverly, Randy Leeper, Morris Baker, Chaiba Bloomer, Tanya Foreman, Paul Montgomery, Tammy Davis, Ron Collins, Gwen Collins, Kevin Lytle, Michelle Tolbert, Jessica Kerney, Monnie Macdonald, and Pharnell Raines.

The event serves as the official beginning to Black History Month in February.