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ABERDEEN, Miss. (WCBI)- For 18 years, one family has been bringing in the new year with worship and praise.

The Gospel New Years celebration is, indeed, a family affair that’s been going on for nearly two decades. Shelia Clark organized the event.

“I started it in 1995. Every since then I said I’m going to do it and see how it turns out. The first year it was real big so I said I’m going to do it every year.18 years I’ve been doing this and I’ve enjoyed it and my family,” says Shelia Clark.

Shelia has been singing Gospel with her family since she was 4 years old and says the New Years Celebration brings several gospel groups to Aberdeen and a large crowd every year.

“A lot of people always come from far and near. Here in Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee,” says Shelia Clark.

Her father, Pastor Ben Clark, created The Clark Family Gospel group more than 40 years ago and each year he enjoys singing to the Lord alongside his 7 children.

“Singing is very essential in MS and also in my life cause I love to do both, I love to sing, I love to preach. I love to do it all,”says Pastor Clark.

Ben says the uplifting, soulful and motivating lyrics in a gospel song plays an influential part not only in his life, but also in African American culture.

“It brings out the depth in a person. It also takes us back to where we use to be, and brings us to where we are now. It’s fulfilling. You can hear the words of a song and it gets you prepared to hear the word of God,” says Pastor Clark.

Ben is happy his family still comes together each year to bring praise and worship to the community.

“I’m proud of my entire family. Because they’re grown and they don’t have to be with me and my wife, but they still run up and down the road with us singing,” says Pastor Clark.

And it’s a family affair Shelia hopes will continue.

“I hope they’ll be 18 more years. 18 more,” says Shelia Clark.

The Clark Family Gospel singers have recorded several songs and plan on heading back to the studio later this year.

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