Gospel music came into the Verizon Center blessing every wall, chair, heart and mind. You see, there is such truth in someone having an anointed spirit and Bishop Marvin Sapp, has it. It is without any doubt that this man really believes in the gospel as he sings out in song. His presence brings you peace and his voice restores your soul. Marvin Sapp is a gospel artist who has a mission first to minister and second to sing it out in praise. Right from the start, he walked on stage and sincerely began to testify. He did not come with background singers or a band but you would have thought he was equipped with everything, because his energy was so high and his delivery was simply amazing. You could not help but receive the blessing of God’s word through his voice. He solidifies what music ministry is meant to be. His level of vocal ability is perfection yet released effortlessly. It is unbelievable to know that until he was found by the amazing Gospel Artist: Fred Hammond, he wasn’t even utilizing his voice the massive way he does now. Now being one of the most influential voices in gospel music today, he is ordained to be used as one of God’s vessels to reach both the saved and unsaved individuals who are seeking to find their way in this imperfect world.
Before he blessed us, we had the privilege of being introduced to two opening acts that both were gospel groups, who performed original songs based in the traditional gospel sound. First, was a six member all male group that goes by the name of: “No Chains”. These men are all veterans of the United States Armed Forces and have seen so much in the world, that they collectively became convicted to deliver rock-solid messages of the word of God through song. They all were dressed in matching cream suits with red ties and had much class as they carried out their wonderful and poised performance. They performed two songs off of their debut project entitled: “Call On Jesus”. This group was refreshing to see and hear.
Next up was a nine member gospel group by the name of: “The Seek and Find Project”, who came out in a single filed line, also matching but in “Washington Wizards” white t-shirts, Blue denim jeans and red converse. They all were focused and on a mission. They knew the audience would be wondering what type of performance they were about to give. So, they cleverly added to the suspense as the music began. They stood looking straight forward, in a line, shoulder to shoulder with no movement. They just looked at the audience for about 10 to 15 seconds. Then, they broke out into a staggered position and started performing in traditional gospel format musically, while giving you energy that can be compared to the likes of Tye Tribbett, Kirk Franklin, etc. That wowed the crowd and they definitely had everyone’s attention. These young men were fresh, organized, filled with energy, excited about God, and had no problem displaying it all across the Verizon Center. Check out their single “Jesus You’re All I Need”.
It must be noted that for each act, DJ Enyaphace was holding every group and Marvin Sapp down. He was a key component to each set. Accurately being on point as each artist and group brought something different, He really was focused and did his thing. He also had the right songs playing in between such as: “I Luv God” By Erica Campbell of the gospel group Mary Mary“, which had the audience partying as they sang along and jammed with MC/DJ Enyaphace song choices.
As the crowd was patient and welcomed both opening acts, they were eagerly ready to embrace Marvin Sapp. The moment finally came and happiness stirred up inside. As he appeared, many stood to their feet. He performed many songs and even at one point asked the audience what they wanted to hear. He went into a medley of hits as the audience sang along and really got into the moment. There were many that requested him to sing a particular popular song of his, and he humorously responded by letting them know that he would get to that but he is going to save it till the end, because he knows he can not leave without doing it. He also made us feel special by letting us know that he felt it necessary to be here with us, even though he was suppose to be in a rehearsal for the Stellar Awards. This made everyone really fall deeper into the experience, as it was clear that this was a unique moment that may not have happened if Marvin Sapp was thinking of himself.
So, as soon as he sang the first second of the first word “Never”, the audience cheered in excitement. The song: “Never Would Of Made It”, filled the atmosphere as the power of this song really has that kind of strength embedded within it. It travels straight to your heart and you have to sing it out loud from your gut: “Never Could Of Made It, Without You…I would have lost it all, but now I see, how you were there for me”. Whewww! The words with no melody, takes you to a surrendering place all by themselves!…It really is that moving! “Never Would Of Made It”, reaches in and touches your past, current and future life all at the same time. It has become a timeless piece. It is catchy and memorable like Kirk Franklin’s: “Why We Sing” & “Something About The Name Jesus” and soothes your heart like Whitney Houston feat. The Georgia Mass Choir’s: “I Love The Lord” and even Jeff Major’s: “The Lord Is My Shepherd.
In true Pastor mode, he acted on his discernment and already had the extended version of this amazing song in motion, as he knew this encounter would not only take him to testimony but also many of the audience members. He sang: “I made it…the devil don’t like it…but I made it”. Getting closer to the audience, he encouraged them to find one person to their left or right. Look in their face and tell them: “Neighbor You’re Stronger, tell them, Neighbor You’re Wiser, Talk yall. Neighbor You’re Better, So Much Better, Now Scream, You Made It, Scream You Made It”. He then went further in ministry as he told the audience: “Find one more person and this time testify that you learned you were stronger than you thought you were. You learned that the enemy can hit you with its best shot but you’re still standing by the grace of God”. He brought so much positivity on this night, we all left with our spirits uplifted. We left hopeful and grateful. We left with a better outlook on our tomorrows.
As this awesome Washington Wizards Friday Night Concert Series came to an end for it’s final run (for now), it was an unforgettable experience that all who attended will cherish forever. Having Marvin Sapp as the featured artist to end the awesome opportunity of these concert series, was a great decision. Overall, this was a win win scenario for all who participated. Plus, It gave great DJ’s and local artists the chance to perform at a top noted DC performance venue opening for major acts, with the audience getting a 2 for 1 deal with a NBA Game and a free intimate concert that featured Internationally known Artists. That is what you call AWESOMENESS!
These Washington Wizards Friday Night Concert Series All Sponsored By: Monster Products
Story By: @MarquitaCheron
About The Author: Marquita Cheron is a Jazzy-Soul/R&B Singer/Songwriter, Correspondent, Writer and overall Music Enthusiast; who has a love for every positive angle of the Music & Entertainment industry. Simply on a quest to reveal the greatness of amazing artists and their music to the masses, while also being a contributor of it herself.