My freshman at Rutgers University, I was so graced to have the opportunity to join this ministry: Liberated Gospel. Growing up, singing and dancing in the church, became a vital aspect in my life and of who I am as a person. Coming into college I was worried about not being about to continue doing two of the things I love most. I was afraid and I couldn’t imagine having to deprive myself of worshiping. I made a conscious decision to continue worshiping but I had no hope of finding such a ministry on campus. I had no idea that the ground I was going to set foot on, God had already prepared a place for me to continue his work with like-minded people.
About 50 years ago in the late 1960’s, Liberated gospel choir was founded and years later, Dancers of liberated praise was founded. As a combined organization, Liberated Gospel set out a purpose to inspire student and public interest in gospel music and dance. Since its beginning , Liberated Gospel, one of the first black student run organizations on campus, has been a leading force on Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus. It has been an influential force and has served an integral role in providing a safe space for like-minded Christian students to worship God.
Being part of this ministry has allowed me to become part of a family. Every individual in the above photo, and even the many that are not, are such beautiful souls. God has hand crafted each person in a unique way for the benefit of his kingdom and this weekend, I witnessed this first hand.
Touring as an organization was a strong tradition, used as an opportunity to travel to places such as Louisiana, Maryland, and Virginia; spreading the word but to also participating in community service at the Boys and Girls Club, Books for Africa, ministering at nursing homes and being involved in other community building projects. However, in the past 4 years this tradition has fallen off, but this year Liberated Gospel decided to bring back and continue the prodigious tradition of the organization.
This past weekend, LGC and DLP went on its very first tour since 2013 to Pennsylvania, NJ. Not too far from home. This wasn’t just any tour but specifically a service tour. Our first stop was Brookland Nursing Home in Harrisburg, PA where we ministered. An experience for which I have no words to describe. I knew exactly what we were going there to do, but the result of our ministration, and simply our being there would bring forth, I couldn’t conceive with my own mind but I was utterly blown away at the outcome and the lasting impact. Just the looks on the faces of the elderly alone was enough to have me in tears, but the kind words that were shared over small conversations really touched my heart and it moved me. As much as they were touched I feel s though the ministration was not for them, it was for me. It was for LGC and DLP. This was God’s way of saying, yes ! You can make a difference. You are not too small; neither is the little that you have to give insignificant.
Our second stop was a food bank in Harrisburg, PA. We helped pack 600 boxes ! This was impressive. It was such a sight to see all hands on deck and the many tactics that we came up with to accomplish our goal in a 3 hour time frame. This for me was symbolic of the strength that we have as a collective body, not just as individuals. We are the body of Christ. We are the church. If we fail to work together and uplift one another, picking up where one falls short, there will be no body; neither will there be a church because the church is not the building but the people who fill it.
The affect of this trip definitely surpassed my expectations. From learning how to be selfless through a study of Esther to understanding what it truly means to serve and why it is important through the study of the Woman with the oil, and even delving further into the blessings that come as a result of service and what to do with those blessings. As a result of this service tour, I have developed a new understanding of service. Service to others is a service to yourself. Always be mindful that the little you have is possibly greater than the many that someone else has. It’s not about how much but what you do with that much.