Local youth praise God at Gospel concert

caines | 6/20/2013, 5:30 a.m.

[gallery link="file" columns="4" orderby="title"] Christian rappers speak on the need for quality influences Beach balls and balloons were passed around a dark room, illuminated by a large cross, as everyone danced and enjoyed the music of a local rapper. The Gospel song, Party by Christian rapper, King Ace blared from the speakers last Saturday night at Holy Ghost In The Hood: Saving Our Youth Gospel Concert at the Miami Rescue Mission Community Center. According to King Ace, who wrote and performed the song, the concert is about Christians having fun. Its telling the world that Christians can have fun without drinking, drugs and all that other stuff that goes against the word of God, the rapper said. Although the event was a fun, family-friendly event, it was held to radically change the lives of youth and young adults, according to Anthony Durden, the president of S.H.E.A.R. [Sharing Hope, Empowerment and Reaction] Inc. Durdens mother, Brilla Smith, started the community service organization 12 years ago to give hope to others through empowerment, education and mentoring. According to Durden, who is aware of the many issues that the youth face says, My goal is that a radical transformation takes place with our youth, and that they come over to Christ and receive Christ in their lives. Durden, a minister at Koinonia Worship Center and Village, said he believes his calling is to help youth who struggle with drug addiction and related issues. He struggled with drug addiction in his early teenage years and it impacted him later on in life and led to homelessness. He had overcome being homeless through his faith in God and also by the help he received at the Miami Recuse Mission. He has been clean for 10 years, and visits the Center regularly to encourage residents that they can also graduate from the program as he has. He also holds Bible study for the residents. But last Saturday night, the S.H.E.A.R., Inc. president, targeted the youth. He has a lot of experience with youth because he is married with five children and is very involved with the youth ministry at his church. Towards the end of the event, Pastor Charles Turner III of New Hope International Ministries, gave a message that posed the question What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his soul? Malcolm Hawkins, 16, a local inspirational R&B artist and student at Miramar High School, said the event gave them an opportunity to show that some young people want to make a positive impact in their community. About 10 or more local artists performed at the event, including: I am MVP, Nothing Over God, Mark Samuel, Harvest Fire Worship Center Praise Team, Butterfly and Paul Morris. We need more events like this because there are not [enough] events of good quality that come into the hoods, Anointed, another local Christian rapper said. We need more quality events because we need to raise the standard when it comes to Christian events. By Malika A. Wrightmwright@miamitimesonline.com