Saturday, June 24, 2017 This Week's Paper

Concert will celebrate faith and diversity

Local gospel music promoter Centell Jackson is excited about the lineup he has for a gospel choir concert scheduled for Tacoma Elks Lodge later this month.

The theme for the show is “Taking Back What the Enemy Has Stolen.” Jackson took this from the title of a song he likes.

Jackson grew up in Alabama. As a teenager he was a member of a male choir at his church. He saw many gospel choirs perform in his youth. “That always resonated with me. It stayed with me through the years. It was always something that moved me.”

Jackson puts on one or two shows each year. “Organizing is in my blood,” he remarked.

The show takes place at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 17. It begins with opening acts Tyreasha Willis and Treonna Simmons. Others on the bill include New Song Ministries, International Praise and Worship Ministries and Turning Point Youth Ministry of Lakewood. Coming down from Seattle is Mount Cavalry Christian Center Church of God in Christ Choir and Praise Dancers. Jackson saw the dancers on a television show, where they performed the song he chose for the title of this show. “I called them the next day and booked them,” he said. “It was meant to be.” The two groups total about 30 people.

In addition to the black choirs one would expect at a gospel music concert, Jackson has aimed to bring in other ethnic groups, including a Korean choir from a Baptist church. Turning Point Youth Ministries has many members of Samoan descent. “Everybody has their own approach,” he said. “I think this community needs this. We have a lot of diversity here. I think those bonds can be tighter.”

He has booked shows at the Elks before. “It is a nice venue with a big ballroom floor.” He noted it is large enough the dancers can leave the stage and go into the audience. “It is a hidden gem.”

Tickets are $10, $5 for active-duty military with identification. They can be purchased at Dightman’s Book Store, located at 2941 S. 38th St., and Graphic Services, located at 402 Tacoma Ave. S. Tacoma Elks Lodge is located at 1965 S. Union Ave.