Student gospel choir rejoiced through song and play

Ryan Friend

Issues such as human mortality, behavior were addressed.

Voices of Testimony gospel choir, accompanied by a six-piece worship band, performed their “transformational” concert and play in the Michael Schwartz Center auditorium Saturday night.

“It is a form of ministry,” said Donell Phipps, the choir’s director. “Ministering the words effectively that’s within the song helps people to understand what we are singing about by getting it into their hearts.”

Voice of Testimony is a campus Christian student ministry that promotes its message through song.

The Mt. Calvary Baptist Church praise and worship team opened the show, and Christian rap artist Crown also performed at the event.

After Voices of Testimony performed gospel songs such as “No Condemnation” and “Set Me Free,” the group changed mediums by performing a play inspired by the Bible verse Romans 12:2 called “Philos.” The play addressed issues of human morality and behavior and how God can help change humanity.

In the play, members of the choir portrayed characters struggling with hatred, gossip, doubt, homosexuality, alcoholism, addiction to pornography and suicide. A student dressed in white came around and took away props from students, which symbolized a transformation of behavior.

“A lot of people go through different struggles, and you know, just for peace of mind basically, and I really feel like when you have a one-on-one relationship with God —¬ you are able to just have peace” said Tia Hollis, the director of the play. “Nobody wants to be in a struggle.”

Hollis said God inspired her to create a play for the performance, and she received help from her friends and family to bring it to life.

“I didn’t have any lines,” Hollis said. “Each person helped make up their own lines, everyone put in their input and the choreography was done by everybody.”

Once the play was over, Christian rap artist Crown came out into the audience and performed his two tracks he called “Left Behind” and “Demon Killer.”

Toward the end of the event, Marquis Davis, newly appointed president of Voice of Testimony, thanked four Kent State graduates: former president Darla Jackson, Shannelle Lockhart, Quiera Lige and Brittany Resnover, for their service toward Voices of Testimony.

Contact religion reporter Ryan Friend at [email protected].