Imagery of Regent people and campus

Regent Celebrates Gospel Fest at Chapel

By Amanda Morad | March 4, 2013

Roger Cheeks leads the Campus Ministries choir in a Negro-spiritual.

"Music has played an integral part not only in our worship over the years, but in our cultures," said Pastor Cedric Rouson, a local worship leader and pianist who performed at Regent University's annual Gospel Fest, held on Wednesday, Feb. 27 during Regent's weekly chapel service. "It's a force that brings us together."

The unifying force of music was a theme explored throughout the hour of spoken word, song and dance. Rev. Nate Griffin began the service by presenting a spoken word based on the family of Lazarus. Following Griffin, Rouson stunned the crowd with a series of intricate and moving piano arrangements of standard hymns and gospel songs.

In One Accord Dance Company, led by Micah Harris, also performed an interpretive piece to the Negro-spiritual, "Wade in the Water." The Campus Ministries choir then took the stage to give the Regent community a taste of a true gospel worship service.

"Whether it's Contemporary Christian Music or gospel, it's all worship," said Roger Cheeks, director of Student Activities and Leadership, as well as a talented gospel worship leader. "It makes no difference to God if we clap on or off the beat."

Cheeks led the Campus Ministries choir in several Negro-spirituals, inviting the crowd to participate and giving them a bit of gospel music history. "Thomas Dorsey is considered the father of gospel music," Cheeks said between songs. "His music not only reflected the oppression of the authors of the Negro-spirituals—the slaves—but also reflected the trials of contemporary daily life."

"Worship has the potential to divide or unite," said Dr. Richard Kidd, director of Campus Ministries, who shared the stage with Cheeks for a discussion of gospel music and its place in the larger scheme of worship. "God's plan for Heaven is for every tribe and tongue to sing as one. No matter what the music sounds like, the person of Jesus is glorified."

Learn more about Campus Ministries.


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