Gospel music, in all its various forms, bellowed across an open field separating the Harlem Baptist and Methodist churches Saturday for the second annual Sonfest.
Harlem Methodist Church Childrens Choir performed at the second annual Sonfest gospel festival Saturday in Harlem. The event was sponsored by Mission 1:10, a joint outreach program between Harlem Baptist and Harlem Methodist churches.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Children's choirs, church choirs, contemporary Christian groups and soloists performed on a outdoor stage at the field on West Milledgeville Road in the heart of downtown Harlem.
The event celebrated unity in diversity, said Harlem Baptist Church Pastor Philip Vestal.
"This is a unifying event in our community," he said. "We have all these different types of music that celebrate our Lord that can appeal to everyone. We want to unify our community by showing our diversity.
"That's the idea of this stage."
About 10 acts performed during the morning and afternoon session of the concert that also featured several crafters and a children's play area. Several more local church choirs sang in an evening concert.
Mission 1:10, a joint outreach program between the two churches, sponsored the second annual Sonfest.
The outreach organization's name refers to a Bible verse, I Corinthians 1:10, and the in-between mark of the churches' address. Harlem Baptist is at 105 W. Milledgeville Road, and Harlem Methodist is next door at 115.
"The two churches wanted to do something together to show God's love in our community," Vestal said. "Mission 1:10 is the culmination of that spirit of cooperation."
Between dips into the dunking booth pool that Harlem Methodist Youth Minister Josh Glymph perched on, he said Sonfest has reached a segment of Harlem's population that otherwise might not be interested in the church's message.
"This event provides a fun, safe environment of us to spread God's word," he said. "People can come here to have fun while learning about the joys of Christianity."
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