By Joi Thomas, Special to the AFRO
Baltimore is known for its vibrant church community. On any given day of the week, there is something exciting happening. New Psalmist Baptist Church celebrated the pastoral anniversary of its leader, Bishop Walter Thomas April 15, this reporter’s father.
For 43 years, Bishop Thomas has served as pastor of New Psalmist. Three services were held in the morning. Local pastors and sons of the ministry, Dr. Ronald Williams, pastor of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, Bishop Heber Brown, pastor of Shiloh Baptist Church of Edgemere, and Rev. Julian Rivera, pastor of Fulton Baptist Church preached for the three morning services. In addition to the morning services, there was also a concert.
Worshippers came back in large numbers at 5 p.m. that evening to hear Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music from the Washington Metropolitan area. This is a unique aggregation of singers; most of them are ministers of music, choir directors, music educators, soloists and ordained ministers of the gospel, including the founder and director, Patrick Lundy who serves as director of Christian Fine Arts at the Reid Temple AME Church in Glenn Dale, Maryland.
The group sang music from all types of religious genres including gospel, hymns, spirituals and choral works. Each song showed the group’s versatility and range. Some of the songs they sang included: “Determined,” “Hallelujah is the Highest Praise,” “What a Friend we have in Jesus” and their hit song, “Even Me”.
According to their biography, Patrick Lundy and the Ministers of Music, officially debuted in November 1994. The choir has traveled all over the country and internationally spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. They even had the privilege of singing during President Barack Obama’s inaugural activities and for the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr memorial.
At the end of the evening, the choir received a standing ovation. Bishop Thomas not only thanked them for making his anniversary an unforgettable one, but he also thanked everyone in attendance for helping him celebrate such a special occasion.