Gospel event to recognize unsung artists of genre

Published 7:51 pm Thursday, June 20, 2019

Throughout eastern North Carolina, the thread of gospel music runs unbroken through the cultural weavings of the region. Performing at churches, campgrounds and during special events throughout the region, gospel singers bring uplifting songs and powerful messages wherever they go.

This Sunday, many of these beautiful voices will come together under one roof in Washington, as Carrie Boyette, of Gospel Train Productions, presents lifetime achievement awards to locally- and regionally- famous gospel singers.

Some of the singers and groups that will be recognized during Sunday’s ceremony have been singing in eastern North Carolina for decades, and Boyette says she wants to give them their moment in the spotlight.

“This year, we’re doing lifetime achievement awards to all the special artists that have never received anything,” Boyette said. “They’ve been out there singing and doing everything right, and no one has ever gave them anything. I like to be that person to tell them ‘thank you.’ They travel all over the world and do singing and just never received a thank you.”

For artists who have received these awards in the past, Boyette says it’s a special occasion, and something she feels called by God to do. For some of the recipients in their 60s, 70s and 80s, the awards marks the culmination of a lifetime of singing.

“Everyone that I told they were getting one, you could see the tears in their eyes,” Boyette.

Some of the singers recognized at the event are familiar faces in Beaufort County, from local folks who volunteer and sing at local nursing homes to employees at the local school system. All told there will be 25 groups and artists recognized during the event.

Among the featured guests at the event will be the Nulook Steppers, of Greenville, Nothing but Grace, of New Bern, Steve Horton and Cruise, The Chosen Ones, Long John and the Silver Stars, Angela Gray, Patricia Gibbs, Clyde Felton and Bishop Curtis Brown. Naturally, the event will feature plenty of beautiful music.

“I just want to give to the ones that deserve,” Boyette said.

Doors open at 3 p.m. for the Gospel Lifetime Achievement Awards Ceremony, with the main event starting at 4 p.m. at 810 Hackney Avenue in Washington. For more information, call 252-945-3251 or 252-320-3339.