Saints 'aints', supporters, and friends gathered together last Friday night at the historic Union Temple Baptist Church of Washington DC in support of Charles Butler & Trinity presents Freedom In Worship 2014. The event was hosted by the surprisingly funny (And slightly shady) multi-Stellar Award winning gospel recording artist Byron Cage. Featured artists of the night included Sunday Best season six winner Tasha Page-Lockhart, Earnest Pugh, and headliner JJ Hairston. Of course the majority of your local favorites were present and vocally accounted for as well.
The evening kicked off with up and coming praise and worship sensation, Whitney Jackson who's vocal talent is matched by her humility and steady spiritual growth. Look out for her, it won't be that hard to spot her as she'll be one of the few good ones left still fueled off of sheer love for the Lord versus the popularity vote and praise of 'the people'. Charles Butler and Trinity soon after took to the stage and displayed how they truly had one of the better gospel albums of 2013. Special guests such as Brittney Wright & Jarmel Evans accompanied them on lead vocals and helped produce a few 'oily moments' that charged the atmosphere. The night was also filled with powerful testimonies and witnesses of how awesome God is. To put it frankly Jeremiah Hicks and James Zeigler got up there on stage and demolished 'Amazing Worth', not surprising though given that James wrote the song and both he and Jeremiah have experienced how truly amazing the God that they sing about is, especially within the past year. More testimonies came as there was a woman in the service by the name of Tasha Page-Lockhart who was speaking and seemingly riffing and running in other tongues as well. Her set offered an old school repertoire with modern day experience of the delivering and healing power of God.
A benediction would have been perfectly fine after Tasha left the stage but wait, there was more! After a special love offering conducted by radio show host extraordinaire Cheryl Jackson of PRAISE 104.1 FM, The man of the hour, the hardest working man in gospel music via sweat of any brow, JJ Hairston appeared on stage to a crowd rousing intro... and then to the proper song that he initially intended to sing. With the dynamic voices of Trinity and that stellar band backing him, Hairston did not disappoint. The accompaniment of Leah Clark Leach on 'Lord You're Mighty' is still ringing in spirits and ears. The great thing about JJ Hairston songs is that there is always room within them for differential vocal interpretation. Brittney Wright proved this to be true in her performance of 'Grateful'. The night came to an end after Hairston's performance. Pastor Anthony G. Maclin of The Sanctuary at Kingdom Square was asked to perform the benediction on an interestingly amazing, fun, at times spiritual night that won't soon be forgotten.