by Kevin E. Cleary
On December 10, 2004, people gathered at the Bishop Cosgrove Center for Christmas festivities. The celebration was led by Pastor Reginald Bailey of the Anointed Gates Church and began with prayer and singing. The crowd’s response was initially lukewarm, as its attention seemed divided between conversations and eating their meals. The greatest responses came from calls to prayer and when the crowd began to sing along. The singing unified a diverse group of people as they slowly merged into one voice.
Mike Jackson played the keyboard while Hezekiah McClendon, John Harvey, and Denise Smith provided vocals. They began their performances with a rendition of “Go Tell It on the Mountain,” and followed with a down-tempo presentation of “Silent Night.” They continued by singing “Joy the World,” which seemed to inject more enthusiasm into the crowd. It appeared the performers noticed this, as they performed an encore of the piece that found the vast majority of the room singing along.
The festivities continued as Charles Glover performed two original works of poetry, each of which was met with applause. He was followed by a man named “Ice,” who impressed the crowd with his considerable vocal range. The crowd continued to join in and became even more engaged as more members of the crowd participated in the performances. All of the presenters received rounds of applause and the festivities seemed to brighten everyone’s day.
Copyright NEOCH, The Homeless Grapevine #68, February 2005. All Rights Reserved