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COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) Worship is usually reserved for Sunday but Columbus residents gathered at the River Walk tonight for a time of praise and preaching.

Gospel music has been around for centuries. The earliest forms of gospel can even be traced back to the 17th century. It’s roots run deep but gospel still thrives today and pastors in the Columbus area wanted to celebrate its history and positive message.

“We just felt as if the Kingdom of God, the body of Christ, needs an opportunity to come out and fellowship as well,” says Leonardo Dismukes.

Event coordinator George Harris hosted the event last year and says gospel music deserves its own special celebration.

“It was just a vision I’ve been having to use the River Walk because most of the time they have a function down here, it’s always blues, country, bluegrass. They always put the gospel first and then have the other stuff later. So they don’t promote the gospel as they should be,” says Harris.

“We’re all busy people but at the same token this is a worthy cause. This is spreading the gospel, spread the good news. In the form of music and just a little small segment for a ministered word,” says Dismukes.

The gospel festival included short sermons from pastors across the Columbus area. Food and beverages were available for attendees who came to the only festival at the Columbus River Walk completely centered on gospel music.

“We can have positive things for kids and not always rock and roll, rhythm and blues, rap, and all that. Something positive where people can just come out and enjoy themselves.
Pastor Harris wants to continue to make this an annual event and providing uplifting music for the people of Columbus,” says Harris.

The Gospel Music Festival saw an increase in attendance from last year’s event.

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