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From left to right: Pastor Arvetra Jones, The Belle, Ami Rushes, Minister Earl Bynum Doc Christian

by Sheilah Belle

TBR –(March 25, 2011) — Norfolk, VA – The Gospel Music Workshop of America wrapped up its 44th Annual Board Meeting Thursday night in Norfolk, VA at the Norfolk Waterside Marriott Hotel & Convention Center.

Attendees flew in from all over the country to be apart of the planning sessions held for the upcoming Summer Convention, slated to take place in Tampa, FL, August 13 – 19, 2011.

Some are calling this Board Meeting, one of the best Board Meetings ever, as Sylvester K. Starkes, Tidewater Virginia Chapter Representative of the GMWA led the way in planning the GMWA Workshop week, along with other Virginia Chapter Representatives, Chapter Presidents, and GMWA members and Virginia Gospel Announcer Guild (GMWA-GAG) members. 

Truly, this was a team effort as each day offered a special Morning Message from guest speakers, Work Sessions for Gospel Announcers with Al  “The Bishop” Hobbs and Bishop Sam Williams, Auxiliary Meetings for various Boards, Choirs, Departments, Committees and various Divisions.

Each night ended with special musicals, showcasing local, regional and national talent.

On Monday night, the list was long as it was “A Virginia Moment” with special guests including Evidence of God, John Fox & New Fellowship, Petersburg GMWA, Richmond GMWA, Tidewater GMWA, Virginia Aires, Brothers of Norfolk, Hampton Roads Chapter, GMWA and a 200 plus Mass Choir under the direction of Minister Earl Bynum.

On Thursday, Virginia Gospel Announcers Guild (VA-GAG) President, Ed Stephens, Jr. and the entire VA GAG hosted one of the high light events for the week…a special luncheon cruise on the Spirit of Norfolk Cruise Ship.  Special guests included GMWA Board members who were treated to special music presentations by Gale Holmes, Elliott Davis, Markise Hicks, Michael Nelson, Soul Tempo, Glo.  The cruise was Co-hosted by Stephens, Raymond Lindsey, Shaun Lindsey and The Belle. 

The music was provided by DJ X.

Other special guests aboard the cruise liner included Gospel Image (GI), Lucinda Moore, Arvetra Jones, Ami Rushes, Merdean Gales, Bro. Steve, Gospel’s Oldest On-Air Announcer John Phillips, 89, Van Boyd, Dr. Kevin Bond, Rev. Dr. Floyd Miles, JoJo Pada, Doc Christian, Jamilla Joy, Dennis Coles, Donna Creer and the list goes on.

Cruisers dined on a buffet with bake salmon, chicken, macaroni & cheese, broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes, hot rolls and cheese cakes, chocolate moose and whipped cream for desert.  In addition to an all you can eat buffet, there was also time set aside to network which just about everyone saw as a great opportunity!

This was simply an amazing week as the body of the Gospel Music Workshop of America now heads to Tampa, FL for their Summer Convention, August 13 – 19, 2011 and back to Nashville, TN, July 7 – 13th, 2012.

The next Board Meeting is slated to take place in San Diego, CA, March 13 – 16, 2012, and in Dallas, TX, March 12 – 15, 2013.

 Plan NOW to attend!

Courtesy of The Belle Report