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Musicians plan Gospel Extravaganza to draw
the faith community together to praise God

A visit to the House of Blues in Chicago gave Kenny Andrews the vision for Christians coming together, eating and enjoying gospel music at the Big Easy in Spokane.

Kenny Andrews
Kenny Andrews
His vision is for a musical outreach ministry to transform lives and restore communities to reach unsaved people and energize believers through the gift of song.

At 1:45 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 11, that dream becomes a reality in the Gospel Extravaganza Sunday Brunch featuring the Anointed Calvary Praise Team and Voices of Calvary at the Big Easy Concert House, 919 W. Sprague.

Northwest recording artist Angela Hunt is guest vocalist.  Elisha Mitchell, vocalist, recording artist and musician at Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church will perform a tribute in song for Tony and Pam McCloud, who have contributed to community and Calvary choirs while he has been stationed at Fairchild.  He has been reassigned to Florida.  The McClouds will be ordained at Calvary on Sunday, Dec. 4.

We both sing and love the Lord,” Kenny said of Elisha.  “We both believe worship calls people to go out of church walls to serve.”

Both also have contacts with top gospel singers in the nation.  Their goal is to bring those singers to one event each month and have local talent perform, too.

 “Religion and praising God are not about color or denomination,” he said, hoping to draw together the Christian community and people who love gospel music.

Kenny, who is the son of the Rev. C. W. Andrews of Calvary Baptist Church, won a new car in the KHQ “Gimme the Mike” contest in May.  He cashed it in and is using those funds to launch the first Gospel Extravaganza Sunday Brunch.

Kenny founded A’KAJ Productions, a nonprofit organization named after his children—Ashley, Kenny, Ariana and Jasmin.  In conjunction with Troy Jella, who has formed Whitestone, they are presenting the first event.

After 17 years away from Spokane, working as executive caterer with the Convention Center in New Orleans, Kenny has returned to be near his parents.

“I was singing from the age of four.  My father was a quartet singer in Yakima, and I went with him for performances in Portland and Pasco,” he said.

Kenny also likens his compassion to his father’s. At six, he was taking the trash out on Thanksgiving Day and found a man digging in the garbage can for food.  He told his father and they invited the man to join them for dinner—and gave him a shower and a suit.

So for Kenny, faith and music are about outreach, sharing the Gospel and breaking bread.

In 1985, he left for New Orleans, to be near the family of his wife Paula.  He found a job as a kitchen manager, and in a year, was caterer at the Convention Center there.

“I was overwhelmed when I first arrived, seeing so many black people.  Blacks are about 85 percent of the population there, in contrast with about two percent here.”

As caterer, he served presidents, sports leaders, movie stars and gospel singers.

“God sent me there to see that these people—celebrities—are just people, no matter how famous they are,” he said.  “So I was able to serve them with a sense of calmness, treating them as human beings.”

While there, Kenny sang solos at major events at the Superdome and at Mardi Gras.

He and his family returned to Spokane in 2001.  He worked for more than three years as catering manager at Whitworth College.  He is the new music minister at Calvary Baptist.

He began building a relationship with Greg Marchant at the Big Easy, known for its local rock ‘n roll concerts, and helped with five events, including the 2005  Gospel Mothers’ Day Brunch for 250 people.

Kenny hopes to fill the 900-seats at the Big Easy, which he said will become “the Lord’s house” for these events.

In January, Angela Hunt and Door of Hope will be the featured singers and in February, Black History and Bethel AME will be performing.

For information, call 270-7418.

in 2009 - concert series is no longer held.

By Mary Stamp, The Fig Tree - Copyright © December 2005