Gospel Choir to Sing at Annual Mother Lode MLK Jr. Celebration
Gwen Amey will be bringing her gospel choir to the Motherlode Martin Luther King, Jr. birthday celebration on January 24, at the Sonora High School Auditorium. Ms. Amey who with her husband Dwight, has co-ministered the New Faith Tabernacle Christian Church in Merced since 1975, Gwen Amey has travelled the world using her music ministry as a way to ‘fellowship’ with others. She started playing the piano at 5 years of age and singing in the church choir in her early teens. “I’ve been involved in the church since the beginning,” she said. Besides co-ministering at her church she has been invited to lead Gospel music workshops, marriage seminars and Women’s Conferences worldwide since 1976. She’s travelled overseas 19 times, taking her music ministry from the US Air Force Base at Yokota, Japan to Turkey, Italy, Portugal and Africa. She has also been invited to sing at the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Sacramento.
Gwen and Dwight have been involved in community events in Merced since they moved there in 1968. They recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, and have 4 children, 14 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren. “Some are not blood, but we claim all of them,” she said with a smile.
The Gwen Amey Choir participated in the Mother Lode Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration last year. The choir consists of members of her church, community members and even 2 of her grandchildren, Caytlinn and Nathaniel. They were such a huge success that the MLK committee invited them to be a part of this year’s celebration as well.
When asked about the importance of the Civil Rights Era and the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Amey said, “The work of Dr. King and others opened up many doors for me. There’s no way I could have travelled and done the work I’ve done without the cultural changes of those times. It’s important that we come together to remind ourselves of where we’ve been and to celebrate the progress we’ve made. Some people paid a precious price for the freedoms and liberties that we enjoy today. Many people, myself included, lived in a time when whites and blacks couldn’t fellowship together. It’s because of what people before us did and the changes that were made by those before us, that we’re able to sing, pray and celebrate together. We must never forget.”
Amey admitted that the work is not done, but that, “We can’t stop, we’ve got to shake the dust off our feet and keep plugging away to create the Beloved Community.”
This is the 21st year the Motherlode MLK Jr. Committee has organized the free annual King Birthday celebration which this year will feature public commentator Jim Hightower. Hightower, known as ‘America’s Favorite Populist’, is known for his sharp perspectives and humorous delivery. The celebration will take place on Sunday, January 24th, 2:30 pm in the Sonora High School Auditorium, Sonora. In addition to Hightower the program will include the Gwen Amey Gospel Choir from Merced, and singers Dennis Brown and Michelle Allison. The reception following the program is open to everyone, come and enjoy the good cheer! For more information contact MLK Committee member Pat Cervelli at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 928-3494.