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TBR — Richmond, VA – The Virginia Gospel Announcers Guild (VA GAG) celebrated its 10 year anniversary over the weekend.  With more than twenty groups performing along with special guest the legendary Dorothy Norwood this was a blessed celebration.

Kicking off on Friday night, groups traveled from up and down the East Coast and as far away as Africa to be on the programs line up to sing including The McDonald Sisters, Russell Delegation, Jessica Greene, Tanya Dallas Lewis, Delivered, Cheneta Jones, Juann Santiago, CD Porter, Gail Fly, Gospel Music Workshop of America Mass Choir, Petersburg GMWA, The Fantastic Goldenairs, Yvonne Pendelton, Gail Fly, Tomeca Marsden, Michelle Kirven, Glorius International, Glorious Lamps from Africa and many many more.

VA GAG President Ed Stephens said, “This year we are so excited to have one of the top entertainment attorney’s to be here for our workshop and panel session. Garrett Johnson is phenomenal and is well respected and knowledgeable of the industries ins and outs.  We are also excited to have Wanda Adams who is conducting out Marketing panel this year and sponsoring out luncheon.”

The panels covered everything from how to budget your money from making the project to marketing it and to how the money is broken down from a CD and who gets paid what. It was extremely informative with both guest facilitators worth their weight in all of the promotions that went forth before them.

On Saturday morning a special sponsored luncheon was held at the Richmond Wyndham Hotel with performances by some of the top up and coming independent artists in the Gospel arena.

Like most conventions regardless of the size, all sorts of information is always shared and some unexpectedly.  For example when Stephens said, that Richmond, VA is on the list of consideration for the national convention of the Gospel Music Workshop of America being brought to the Capital City in 2015, many “In the Room” were speechless.  And should that actually happen, Stephens, “If we are picked there is a lot of work necessary to pull it all off.”

On the last day of the anniversary weekend, Dorothy Norwood, who Stephens called “Now the Real Queen of Gospel” talked about her good friend and member of the legendary Caravans Inez Andrew who is currently fighting stage four of Cancer.  She said, “It was 55 years ago when Albertina Walker and I sent Inez a ticket from her hometown to Chicago to join the Caravans.”  She said, “It hurt me to my heart to see Inez in that hospital bed, but what a joy it was to see her released from the hospital and sing her song the other night, Mary Don’t You Weep.”

Without missing a beat, Norwood then shared news about her call from Aretha Franklin. “She called me just two weeks ago and invited me to be in her movie and said that the same people who did the movie Ray, will be doing her movie.”  Also slated to be in the movie are LaShun Pace and Karen Clark Sheard.  “Aretha said, You just have to sing those old hymns,” said Norwood who has been out here singing for 65 years.

Other special guests who travel to Richmond to support the VA GAG’s efforts were Romel Murphy, Mama Curtis from Chicago, IL, P.T, Brown, Jamila Joy, Brandon Anderson of God’s Image, North Carolina Gospel Announcers Guild president Bishop Arvetra Jones and Sheilah Belle.

A big THANK YOU also goes out to Pastor Kirven and his wife Michelle who opened their Church doors of Worship and Praise, 3006 East Laburnum for the nightly musicals.

Well done to the entire VA Gospel Announcers Guild and Ed Stephens on a job well done!

Courtesy of