Sunday evening, Oakwood Avenue, 1200 block, was filled with voices that never stopped singing until benediction end. The Brian Thomas Chorale, under the leadership of its Founding Director, Bro. Brian Thomas, sang songs of Zion as if it was their first year in existence with joy and excitement that could not be minimized at any level. What is astounding about their sound is that they have been doing it for thirty two (32) years nonstop, and it appears by the strength of their voices that rang out at New Life C.O.G.I.C. , that there is no stopping them now.
The evening was flanked with the best in gospel music that the world has to offer. However, not before Bro. Brian reminded the attendees of where the real music in New Life really started from and how such music of today got its origin and roots. He recalled the days of growing up and hearing the sounds that rang out in Zion, the former house, at 336 Wabash St. that made way for him to do what he is doing today. He recalled the singing of Sis. Ray and how she use to sing, “Stop Now It’s Praying Time”. Many in the audience seemed to recall as well based upon the response. He admonished the audience stating that “Church can’t be changed”, the old songs still have a place and relevant meaning today.
Tribute was given by Bro. Brian to two of the original members of the Chorale, Lisha Washington and Renita Jones, bringing laughter from the crowd stating that Sis. Lisha was called the First Lady of the Chorale. When asked what this day meant to him, Bro. Brian joyfully responds by stating that he was blessed to be celebrating this 32nd year, and since 1984, they have been sharing all over the states of Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, and across the region. He has been playing the organ since 10 years of age and has played for such names of notoriety as Rev. James Cleveland, Evangelist Mattie Moss Clark, Rev. Charles Nicks, and more. He thanks their sound that is unique to only them. The Master of Ceremony was in the hands of Min. Michael Fletcher of the Michael Fletcher Chorale of Detroit, Mi., who is still blessing the world after thirty four (34) years of foot stomping, joyous, and hand clapping, hallelujah hymns that keep on going and going.
The special guest Organist for the evening was Eld. Curtis Daniels, Pastor of the Macedonia C.O.G.I.C., Elyria, Oh. Also leaving an indelible impression upon the attendees, and who came in a chartered bus from Detroit, Mi. was the one and only Detroit Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, who is also the Mother Chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, having been in existence for more than 50 years. Under the direction of Evangelist Sandra Rose, the choir brought the crowd to its feet with the magnanimous and soulful sounds that Detroit is known for.
Also in the audience from Detroit was Bishop Roderick Edwards, Pastor of Powerhouse Temple, a well known musician in Detroit as well, he stated that he was present because he wanted to support his friends Bro. Brian Thomas and Bro. Larry Jones. He is supporting the Detroit Chapter, as he was a part of them at one time but pastoring takes up all of his time now. He was glad to be there.
The evening service was well attended by a cross section of individuals around the city and outside of the city. Bishop Stephen Gulley, Pastor of the Powerhouse Tabernacle Church on Campbell St. stated that he attended the concert because Bro. Brian has been a friend of his for many years and he wanted to support the concert. He is a new Pastor in the city and wanted to attend with the hope of meeting others in the city, prior to returning home in Cleveland.
The evening was a great way to spend it rounding off the Thanksgiving holiday with such joyous sounds of music. Bishop Terry Cook, Presiding Prelate of Ohio Jurisdiction No. 1, C. O. G. I. C. was the Host Pastor for the service of celebration. We celebrate Bro. Brian Thomas and the Brian Thomas Chorale on your successful 32 years of singing praises to the Lord!