Saturday, February 25, 2017
Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Hopewell, NJ
The second annual “Gospel Brunch” was an overwhelming success. The food and music were superb.
The Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum would like to thank everyone who came and all those who volunteered to “make it happen".
A large crowd listened as Sourland Conservancy Director Caroline Katmann detailed the museum project and the most recent updates including grant funding. After enjoying the meal and some great conversation participants drifted upstairs for the musical portion of the event. The main sanctuary of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church was filled to capacity as the next part of the event began.
The musical program started with a stirring rendition of the hymn “We Shall Overcome” as everyone stood and joined in. The first performance was by the Trenton Children’s Chorus who entertained and enchanted the audience with some readings by the children and several songs. Their young voices filled the room with joyfulness while their faces reflected the serious determination each felt toward their performance.
The second featured performer of the day, Bertha Morgan, gave no indication of the performance she was about to give as she quietly stood before the audience. The stillness gave way as she shared her innermost beliefs about the power of song and the strength it gives to the human soul. For the next twenty minutes the audience listened intently to her powerful performance. From the softest strains to the loudest crescendos her voice was wrought with strong emotions, both sweet and powerful. By the end the entire crowd was on their feet waving arms while swaying back and forth to the melody. After her final song the calls for more enticed her to do one more song. She encouraged the entire audience to stand and join in. It was a stirring encore.
As the crowd exited the room the smiles and conversation suggested that everyone who came enjoyed themselves thoroughly. We all look forward to next year's event.