September is Gospel Music Heritage Month and on Sunday, the nation’s capital took note of that with an elaborate celebration with some of the brightest names in Gospel. The “Evolution of Gospel” concert took place at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C. before a packed house, with concert goers in line early to get a good seat. .

Hosting this years concert was ABC 7 news anchor Cynee’ Simpson and WYCB’s Winston Chaney. The star-studded Gospel concert included performances by Yolanda Adams, Maurette Brown Clark, Damita Haddon, Lil’ Mo and Phillip Bryant, Crystal Akins, The 7 Sons of Soul, and the Washington Performing Arts Society Men and Women of the Gospel Choir (WPAS).


Gospel Music Channel founder, Charley Humbard, Stellar Awards producer, Don Jackson, and D.C.’s own Gospel music icon, Mrs. Shirley M.K. Berkeley were honored with the Gospel Music Heritage Living Legend Award. Mayor Vincent Gray declared “Shirley M.K. Berkeley Day” in honor of the celebrated gospel industry icon affectionately known as “Ma Berkeley.” The proclamation was presented by Rev. Dexter Nutall of New Bethel Baptist Church who was appointed to head the District’s Office on Religious Affairs by Mayor Gray.

DC Host Committee chair, Ron Magnus and Vice-chair Jared Sawyers along with the DC Host Committee of the Gospel Music Heritage Month Foundation did an outstanding job of pulling together a diverse array of artists and executing a foot-stomping and worshipful celebration. The concert threw a powerful spotlight on the significance of gospel music through the annals of time as told by Minister Howard Watson

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