OPA-LOCKA – On Saturday, Sept. 29, the sound resonating throughout the city of Opa-locka was the Second Annual Gospel Explosion, ignited by host Commissioner Rose Tydus, Mayor Myra Taylor and the City Commission in partnership with the Parks and Recreation Department.
The event featured a multi-talented cast of recording artists including Sensere, the DNA Music Boyz, Bobby Rosario and the ASAPH Orchestra, who lit up Sherbondy Park and the community with soul-stirring gospel music.
The Gospel Explosion and Performing Arts Ministry Competition struck a positive note among spectators and passers-by, who clapped, worship or sang along to the sweet noise of praise that transcended the airwaves.
Commissioner Tydus celebrated another year of success in achieving her goals to attract families, bridge musical gaps, create dialogue and appreciation for new and old-school gospel music.
She also showcased the city’s growing Latino community by reaching out for their contribution to the concert through performers Bobby Rosario and the ASAPH Orchestra, who took to the stage immediately following the opening act of laughter and humor provided by Christian comedian Felicia “FeFe” Moore.
Rosario, of Puerto Rican decent, ministers in the city as pastor of the Church Capilla de Ray.
The DNA Music Boyz, a group of saved, spirit-filled young men, also captured hearts in the Opa-locka community. In 1998, DWayne Bennett and Anthony Randolph established the seven-member, all-male group in South Florida and acquired a reputation that allowed them to minister locally and nationally.
Sensere, the featured attraction of the Gospel Explosion, is a twelve-voice, Florida-based gospel group that combines exquisite harmonies and full-bodied sound. The group, founded in 2003 by songwriter James E. Wright III, and which in 2011 released the album The Soul of Future Worship Vol. 1, got its big break with an appearance on the BET show Bobby Jones’ Gospel, and has become a favorite with gospel crowds.
Sensere “exploded” on stage by representing the best of gospel during the concert.
The program also ighlighted aspiring talent during the Performing Arts Ministry Competition, which included Sherine Bullock singing Yolanda Adams’ Open Up My Heart; a mime and dance presentation by New Generation Dance Ministry; a choral arrangement by the Stanton Memorial Baptist Church Choir; and a praise dance by Holy Dove of the Christ Crusade Church.
The $500 first place prize was awarded to the Stanton Memorial Baptist Church Echo of Praise Choir by a three-panel committee of judges: recording executive Eddie Pugh; Christian comedian Teresa “Lady T” Pole-Las; and Prophetess Dee Allen from the Working the Word television program.
Many donated a canned good or non-perishable food item, as was encouraged, to benefit the Opa-locka Make A Wish Veterans Inc., for which the donors were given tickets to participate in four $25 gift card raffles.
The Make A Wish Veterans also provided a concession stand as a fundraiser to benefit the organization, which was founded in 2007 by veteran Charles Buford. He was awarded a commendation by Commissioner Tydus during the second Gospel Explosion.