SummerStage: 5th Annual Gospel Explosion 2012: Hezekiah Walker and Friends, Vashawn Mitchell, Le’Andria Johnson, James Fortune & F.I.Y.A.

Sunday, August 5, 2012, 4:00 PM

Central Park, New York, NY


For over 25 years, Bishop Hezekiah Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir have spread the Gospel of Jesus to a variety of audiences, changing the lives of many around the world. They have performed and recorded with several major secular artists, including Celine Dion, Ray Charles, Brian McKnight, Justin Timberlake, Enrique Iglesias, Brandy and Baby Face to name a few. Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir have received numerous Grammy nominations for their fifteen critically acclaimed albums, including their wins for Live in Atlanta at Morehouse College and for Love is Live. With their nomination for the NAACP Image Award for Best Gospel Artist, Walker and the Love Fellowship Crusade Choir have further cemented themselves as a power player in the Gospel music world.

Chicago native VaShawn Mitchell has made noteworthy contributions to the Gospel music scene that have defined and impacted churches and gospel communities nationwide. A noted songwriter and worship leader, his songs have been recorded by Gospel’s most celebrated artists, including Smokie Norful, Vanessa Bell Armstrong, and Bishop Paul Morton. On his Grammy nominated album Triumphant, he incorporates pop and rock sounds with a traditional gospel vibe that has thrilled audiences. Mitchell was inspired after connecting with people who have faced immense hardships, and many of his songs on Triumphant “express empathy as his voice implores, and embodies, optimism,” according to The Chicago Tribune.

Faith Leader, Social Engineer, Entrepreneur, Idea Maker, Artist, and Communicator, are just some of the words that describe Charles Jenkins, a leader widely respected and revered for his innovative thinking, contemporary leadership and holistic approach to social change and large-scale community development. While Jenkins is widely known as the senior pastor of the historic Fellowship Missionary Baptist Church, a rapidly growing multi-location congregation of over 8,000 members in the Chicagoland area, he is also a visionary trailblazer, connector, community leader, advisor, GRAMMY® award-winning songwriter and author.

The minister of music at Ebenezer AME (African Methodist) Church in Fort Washington, MA since 1996, Byron Cage uses his soulful tenor vocals and choir director skills to confirm his faith. Together with his nine vocalist group, Purpose, which he formed in the mid 90’s, Cage has recorded three memorable live albums of spirituals; Transparent in Your Presence, Dwell Among Us and the Prince of Praise