A creative community celebration of Black History Month: Gospel ‘Zoom’-plosion

 by Samantha Holm | Staff Writer

On Friday evening at 7 p.m., over 100 people gathered on YouTube Live to watch this year’s annual Gospel Explosion. This event has taken place in person for over 26 years, but it was adapted to a virtual format due to COVID-19. The event’s director, Stephanie Nobles-Beans, associate chaplain for Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Ministry at Whitworth, started the event to unite the university with Spokane’s local churches. It is also part of Whitworth’s celebration of Black History Month.

In previous years, the event has been hosted in the Seeley G. Mudd Chapel. This year, participants from Spokane’s local churches submitted recordings of their performances, which were compiled into one video.

The event opened with Nobles-Beans thanking the audience and participants. Then, a young participant, Jenysis Oliver, opened the event in prayer. The prayer was followed by a performance by the W.E.R.E Praise Team, comprised of Angela Hunt, Paula Jenkins and Michelle Bigsby.

After, Mona Martin performed a prophetic dance, during which she donned a white dress. Martin did a contemporary-style dance whilst waving flags of varying colors. She danced to “If Not for Your Grace” and “Spirit Break Out”.

This performance was followed by Whitworth sophomore Jordan Collins singing a hymn her mother used to sing to her sister and her when she was younger. Next, Latrice Williams performed a soulful solo of “Safe in His Arms”. Then, Jacquelynne Sandoval sang a proclamation of her dedication to Christ called “I’m Yours”.

The event concluded with Christopher and Heather Bowers performing a well-known gospel song called “Speak to My Heart”.

Following a year of racial tension, the Gospel Explosion was a refreshing and lively celebration of Black History Month.

Click here to watch this year’s Gospel ‘Zoom’-plosion.